Self-employed people clock up nearly 40 per cent more personal debt than those who are on the payroll, according to new research from a national free debt advice provider.

PayPlan’s research, alongside OnePoll, into the attitudes and anxieties of self-employed workers indicates that freelancers and those who have their own businesses are more likely to experience serious personal money problems, than both employed and unemployed people.

Self-employed people under 65 years old owe on average 36.4 per cent more personal debt than those who are not self-employed.

Despite this financial risk, self-employed people today are starting out young, with the study highlighting that almost a third (32.6 per cent) decided to branch out independently before their 35th birthday.

The study of self-employed people also reveals that over half (50.4 per cent) seriously worry about their personal finances, either often or all the time – regardless of whether or not they are currently in debt.

PayPlan has launched a free online portal – – for those in self-employment, offering advice and support for those who want to solve their debt problems but keep their businesses trading.

Jane Clack, money adviser at PayPlan, has been in debt before as a self-employed businesswoman, so knows just how hard it can be.

She explains, “More and more people are deciding to work for themselves, perhaps in the hopes of taking control back of their lives, their working hours, and their personal finances.

“However, the results show that, financially, self-employed people are even more at risk, and thousands may already be struggling without admitting it to anyone. We want to encourage people to open up about their money concerns, and that’s why we’ve created a free online advice portal especially for self-employed people.”

*The data above is from PayPlan’s 2016 study into the attitudes and anxieties of self-employed workers.