We’re All In Debt To The Bank Of Mum And Dad Apparently

by : Francesca Donovan on : 31 Oct 2017 10:25
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Is this scene familiar? Remind you of anything? On the phone grovelling to your parents – of the Baby Boomer generation – because you can’t afford a Pot Noodle until payday. 

You’re not alone. The average Brit is in debt to the tune of £2,813 to friends and family, no less, according to research.


A survey of 2,000 UK adults found the staggering figure consists of cash borrowed from their nearest and dearest for unexpected repairs such as boiler breakdowns, bills and to help pay for new cars.

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More than half said their parents are the first port of call when they need money – with an average of £2,103 owed to The Bank of Mum and Dad.

A further £100 is owed to friends, £165 to siblings, £201 in arrears to other family members, and £67 which is yet to be paid back to partners.


It also emerged friends-and-family borrowing makes up over one tenth of the average Briton’s debt – which currently stands at £18,814, excluding mortgages, according to the study.


A spokesman for loan provider, PiggyBank, said:

Money owed is money owed, whether it’s to a car company, a mortgage lender or your grandmother. It’s very easy for personal loans to add up to a point where they’re no longer manageable month-to-month.

And borrowing from friends and family members also puts you at risk of damaging relationships, if for any reason you aren’t able to pay them back on time.


The study also found almost six in ten Brits have borrowed money from a friend or family member, and over a third currently owe cash to them.

However, payback doesn’t always go smoothly – one in ten have lost a friendship due to a dispute over money owed, and one in 20 have been left estranged from a family member.

As well as borrowing, the survey looked at the viewpoint of the lenders, with the average respondent currently owed £435 each by friends and family members.

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And more than half said they’ve lent cash to friends knowing they were never likely to see it again, that round of drinks inevitably forgotten come morning.

Overall, 74 per cent of the money loaned to loved ones is repaid – the rest is simply written off.

Fifty-five per cent of Brits have lived to regret lending someone money, and would think twice about doing it again.


Although 41 per cent who took part in the OnePoll.com study said they would loan someone more than £10 without asking for it back.

The most common reasons for borrowing from a friend or family member included dealing with an unexpected payment like a boiler breaking as well as to buy a car or pay for a holiday.


The PiggyBank spokesman added:

The bank of ‘friends and family’ is usually the first port of call for those with unexpected expenses. But loans between family members or friends can often result in their own sets of problems.

Loan affordability is always something you should consider, which is why at PiggyBank we only lend to people who can afford to repay their loan without putting themselves into financial difficulty.

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The shocking run down of how much we, on average, owe the people in our lives hits parents hardest, who are out of pocket £2,103.32, and siblings to the tune of £164.56, with other family members coughing up £201.72 to help.

Equally though, parents can be in debt to their kids, but only on an average of £27.50. Partners owe partners £67.08, and friends £99.87 while colleagues have helped us all out with an average of £18.79.

Adding a miscellaneous group of ‘others’, who are owed £130.90, the total adds up to £2,813.71.


Best starting saving up the pennies then.

First investment: a piggy bank.

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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Life, Sex and Relationships