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June 11, 2009

Britons seeking debt advice need 93 years to pay

by Gill Montia

Story link: Britons seeking debt advice need 93 years to pay

A new report from the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) shows a sharp rise in the number of people in England and Wales seeking advice over debt and redundancy.

During the year to the end of March, debt issues produced the biggest volume of enquiries with advice given on 1.93 million new cases, an 11% rise on a year earlier.

Total employment related problems saw a 17% increase compared to last year and there was a 49% rise in enquiries relating to mortgage and secured loan arrears, to 95,342.

New cases relating to bankruptcy rose 24% to 137,406.

Enquiry figures showed a sharp spike at the start of 2009, with debt enquiries 21% higher than in the first quarter of 2008.

During the same period, enquiries about redundancy soared by 179%.

Recent research shows that CAB clients with debt problems owe an average of £16,971.

According to the charity, it would take 93 years for the average client to pay their debts at an affordable rate.

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

Irresponsible lending, poor financial skills and increases in the cost of living also played a significant part.


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