Business

Debt problems are rising, Money Advice Trust charity says

  • 10 June 2014
  • From the section Business
A man looks through his paperwork
Image caption A survey for the BBC found 69% of British adults in debt have not asked for advice on managing their debts

More people are falling into debt because they cannot afford basic household bills, such as energy, water and council tax, a charity says.

Money Advice Trust (MAT) said it helped 150,000 people with household bill debts last year - up 140% since 2007.

But fewer people reported problems with traditional credit products, such as loans and overdrafts, MAT said.

Meanwhile, a BBC survey has found that the most adults in debt have not asked for advice on managing their problem.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the MAT said: "The gradual erosion of some families' surplus income in the face of rising prices has led to a new generation of debt problems, one to which more people are vulnerable, one which is harder to resolve, and one which has no definitive solution.

"We're hearing from more people in serious debt difficulty as a result of debts totalling less than £5,000. When there is little room in a household budget to meet basic expenses, paying off debts can seem impossible.

"Recent government announcements such as an increase in the minimum wage are a positive step towards helping these families, but more can be done."

However, a survey for BBC North, conducted by Comres, has found that people are hesitant to seek help.

The survey found that 69% of British adults in debt had not asked for advice on managing their debts. The poll surveyed 1,000 respondents between 23 and 25 May 2014.

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