Debt worries mounting with recession

Debt worries mounting with recession

Consumers are increasingly struggling to pay off debts, according to figures released this week by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).

Debt enquiries to the Bureau increased 11% on year between April 2008 and March 2009, with the CAB advising 1.93 million people struggling to pay back debts.

Redundancy enquiries during the same period soared by 114%, whilst the number of callers seeking advice on jobseekers allowance rose 61%.

The number of callers seeking mortgage advice increased 49%, whilst bankruptcy enquiries rose 24%.

David Harker, CAB chief executive, said the statistics reveal the “human impact of the recession.”

“In particular we are seeing an enormous rise in the number of people turning to us for help because they have lost their job, or are struggling with debts or having problems keeping up with their mortgages,” Harker said.

Chris Eagle of consumer advice site CreditChoices.co.uk added that consumers struggling with “debts or any other financially difficulty” should not keep the problem to themselves, but should seek advice.

“There are several charities that could offer you advice and support, so pick up the phone or go online now, and get the help you need,” Eagle said.

The CAB is to receive £10 million extra funding this year to extend opening hours, allowing to meet the increased demand for advice.

A recent poll of CAB clients found that the average UK consumer owes nearly £17,000 in non-mortgage debts.

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