COVID is disproportionately impacting those in debt, according to new research, with debt soaring above the national average in North-East areas in Tier 2.

According to a recent survey of 300,000 people struggling with their personal finances, people in Durham, at £35,626, and Cleveland, at £35,365, are thousands of pounds above the national average debt level of £27,847.

  • Newcastle - £31,821
  • Durham - £35,626
  • Sunderland - £31,591
  • Darlington - £31,451
  • Cleveland - £35,365

Out of 29 of the worst-affected areas, 27 locations are collectively experiencing average individual debt levels nearly 10 per cent higher than the UK average, and North-East areas are some of them.

The Northern Echo: A debt map of Covid hotspots in Tier 2 and 3 restrictions A debt map of Covid hotspots in Tier 2 and 3 restrictions

With fresh fears of rapid increases in infection rates as cold weather hits, and so many of the UK workforce still facing widespread job uncertainty, Martin Prigent of Aryza UK, which conducted the research, said: “It goes without saying that the UK is facing its most difficult time in decades, but for those living within our poorest communities, those difficulties are definitely compounded.

"Not many within these key areas can self-isolate or in some cases, take advantage of the Government’s support scheme, and as a result, could actually see their debt levels increase.

“Our study results are certainly interesting as they highlight the true cost of COVID-19 for so many who are battling with their personal finances. And, with COVID-19 cases creeping up further each day, for some, those financial worries will only get worse.”

The Aryza Group specialises in debt and insolvency software to help consumers manage their personal finances.