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Living from one pay day to the next

A look at how people in Scotland feel about finances, credit and debt

We asked people from across Scotland about their relationship with money, debt, credit, and planning for the future.

The study shows:

  • More than half of Scots (51%) say they occasionally run out of money before payday, with 15% saying they do so ‘most of the time’ or ‘always.’
  • 55% of Scots would be unable to pay a sudden bill of £100 without borrowing, using savings or cutting back on essentials. The equivalent figure for a £250 bill is 69%, and for £1,000 is 81%.
  • Only 42% of Scots feel they understand their rights in relation to debt.
  • Older people and those with full-time jobs are less likely to be in debt, but many Scots who are in work report that they often need to borrow to supplement their income.
  • Those who are in work are just as likely to be refused credit as those not in work.


Linda Hutton
Publication date
May 2017
Publication type