We’ve moved away from questions about how much of a burden it is to keep up with bills. This is a subjective measure and not a particularly reliable measure of whether someone needs debt advice.
Intuitively you would expect a high debt to income ratio to be an important predictor of problem debt and this was confirmed by the literature review*. The breadth of arrears that we collect in our survey is a good substitute for this. In addition, the different debts that we identify have more or less severe impacts on people.
We have now created a graduated measure of the need for debt advice instead of a binary “need advice/don’t need advice”.
* Multiple references to this ratio were found in the literature review including several studies conducted for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)