One in six families are covering essential costs with payday loans or unauthorised overdrafts, or are defaulting on household bills, in the most financially distressed parts of Britain, according to research which suggests that some of the neighbourhoods struggling the most are concealed in pockets of otherwise affluent areas.
Populus polled 6,300 people for Which? and also found that, despite the economic recovery, two in five people were worried about household debt and half were worried about the level of their household savings and investments.
The consumer group used the results to create a map which displays estimates of financial distress at regional, parliamentary constituency, and neighbourhood level.
Hodge Hill in Birmingham was deemed to be the most financially distressed constituency, and other areas where one in six said they were reliant on payday loans or unauthorised overdrafts or defaulting on household bills included Bradford East, Islington North in London, and Belfast West.