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Average debt needs 93 years to repay

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by David Masters
Average debt needs 93 years to repay

The average person seeking debt advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) is nearly £17,000 in the red and would need 93 years to pay back the money at an affordable rate.

This is compared to an average debt of £10,600 in 2001, and CAB expects the situation to deteriorate further in the year ahead.

The most common reasons for debt are low income, over-commitment, illness or disability, and job loss, CAB said.

More than half of those polled for the study had debts on priority bills such as rent, mortgage repayments, heating bills or council tax.

One in ten had more than 10 credit debts such as credit cards, overdrafts or personal loans.

David Harker, CAB chief executive, said the figures make for ‘sobering reading’, not least because they were collected in July 2008, before the worst of the credit crunch began.

“Low income, combined with irresponsible lending, unreasonable debt collection practices and badly informed financial decisions are at the root of many of our clients’ debt problems,” Harker said.

He added: “For many there is little prospect of their income increasing or their circumstances changing.

“The reality is that they are condemned to a lifetime of poverty overshadowed by an inescapable burden of unpayable debt.”

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News posted: February 27, 2009

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