Almost nine million people were forced to increase their borrowing in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

According to the ONS, the proportion of people borrowing £1,000 or above increased to 45% in December 2020, from 35% in June 2020.

Young people and low earners are most affected by the pandemic, ONS data shows, with individuals aged 30 and below 35% more likely to be furloughed.

Gueorguie Vassilev, senior research officer, said:

“Many people took a financial hit in the first months of the pandemic, either being furloughed or working fewer hours.

“What we are seeing now, though, is a widening financial gap between households, where some people are relying on savings or borrowing to make ends meet. Those hardest hit are people on low pay, young people and parents of dependent children.”

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