One in three people prefer to deal with debt online

People struggling with debt prefer to create their repayment plans online to help manage their borrowing commitments.

The latest research from Experian highlights a growing trend for individuals who want to settle their debt without having to talk to anyone they owe money to. This is, in part, to avoid confrontation and take back control of their finances.

The three most popular options among UK adults when it comes to dealing with unmanageable debt are:
• nearly one in three (32%) would prefer an online option as their first point of call for a repayment plan following a missed payment
• going into a branch to discuss repayments face to face is what 23% would choose
• for 20%, the preferred option is to do this over the phone

The convenience and ease of online planning is the main reason that people would opt for an online route (62 %). However, a desire to simply avoid stressful phone calls, letters and conversations are also popular reasons for going online.

Nick Grant – Business Development Consultant from Experian’s Decision Analytics commented: “It’s understandable that most people prefer e-mail, text, web chat and self-service options. That’s not to say that traditional letter or telephone based methods don’t work. Understanding the best way to communicate with each individual, as well as what they can afford, will ensure the right outcome for those in debt, as well as the organisations trying to recover those debts.

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“For those in financial difficulties, often a good first step to take is to seek advice from organisations such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice and StepChange Debt Charity, who can help them understand what their options are. It is important to remember there is always support.”

For more information about how to plan a fair and effective collections strategy, please see the Experian whitepaper here.