Debt: Women 'keener to seek help than men'

Woman with her head in her hands More women seek help than men for financial difficulties, charities say

Men are less likely to seek help for spiralling debts than women - even though they face a greater risk of bankruptcy.

Women contacted two debt charities for advice in greater numbers than men last year, figures have shown.

But single men have built up greater debts than women on their own, the data shows.

During the past decade more men have also entered into bankruptcy or sought official agreements to repay debts.

Pragmatism?

Some 63% of callers to the Christians Against Poverty group, which has 150 church-based debt counselling centres in the UK, were women.

"We do not know whether women are more pragmatic, or that men have that determination to sort things out on their own," said the charity's chief executive Matt Barlow.

"What is clear is that it is awful to live in debt, to be hounded by creditors and feel that life has spun out of control."

Meanwhile, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said it had also received more calls from women - even though men were more likely to become insolvent.

The latest figures from the Insolvency Service shows that in 2008, 37,972 men went bankrupt, compared with 23,173 women.

A CCCS spokeswoman said, of those who called the charity, couples faced the highest average debt - at just over £30,000. This was followed by single men, with an average debt of £19,830, and single women at £16,937.

Debt charities consider this time of the year to be their busiest, as many people find themselves in financial trouble when credit card bills from Christmas spending arrive.

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