Self-employed face high levels of debt

Thousands of self-employed people and small business owners are facing high levels of debt, according to research by the Money Advice Trust.

Of around 36,000 people who contacted the trust in 2017, almost half (49%) had debts of £10,000 or more, with nearly a quarter (23%) owing more than £30,000.

The main problems causing financial difficulty included irregular income, late payments and a lack of confidence with certain business management skills.

While the majority of business owners felt confident completing a budget (80%), they were less confident about constructing a business plan (59%) and completing tax and VAT returns (47%).

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said:

"Self-employment and small business ownership continues to grow and play a crucial role in driving forward our economy.

"While many of these businesses are able to flourish, a growing number are struggling with high levels of debt, putting both their business and personal finances at risk.

"It is crucial that any self-employed person or small business owner who is struggling to cope seeks advice as soon as possible."

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