Consumers’ borrowing on personal loans, overdrafts and credit cards surged by £1.2 billion in March - marking the strongest growth seen since 2008, Bank of England figures show.
The upswing compares with an average increase in consumer credit of £900 million over the previous six months, as well as being the largest increase seen since February 2008.
The sharp increase in consumer credit borrowing was fuelled by a £1.1bn increase in borrowing on personal loans and overdrafts, which was also the largest upswing seen in this type of borrowing since February 2008.
Also within the £1.2bn increase seen in consumer credit in March, credit card borrowing increased by £161m. This was in line with the average growth seen in credit card borrowing over the last six months, the Bank said.
Meanwhile, 61,341 mortgage approvals - with a collective value of £10.2bn - were made to home buyers in March, marking a 0.3 per cent fall compared to February.
Some recent studies have pointed to a pause in the housing market while house hunters and sellers await the outcome of the General Election.
According to financial information website Moneyfacts, average personal loan rates fell to a record low in February this year.
Moneyfacts said that a year ago, the average rate on the market for someone looking to borrow £5,000 over three years was 9.1 per cent. By February this year, that had fallen to 8.1 per cent - the lowest average rate since the website’s records started in 2007. The average rate for this type of loan has edged up slightly since February, to 8.4 per cent.