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More people needing advice as debts soar

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16/02/2007

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has recorded a 65% increase in clients over the past year, with higher bills quoted as the main reason for more people seeking advice on their indebtedness.

Citizens Advice, the free consumer advice group, also saw a 15% hike in 2006 over the previous year in the number of people requiring help on personal debts. “The combination of people experiencing increases in fuel bills, and rising housing costs, puts added pressure on finances that were already stretched,” said Teresa Perchard, CAB director of policy.

The most marked increase in those seeking help is amongst men over 60, clients who owe on average £36,940 – the largest amount of any group. The ratio of debt to income for these men is 36:1.

When women are factored in, the age group with the biggest overall debt problem is the 40-59 range.

The CCS has also seen a marked rise in the number of clients from Yorkshire, people who normally enjoy a parsimonious reputation, and notes that indebtedness is a truly national problem that undermines whole communities.

The total amount of personal debt in the UK rose 9% in 2006 to £213bn.

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