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Basic household bills forcing more people into debt


The number of people falling into debt because they cannot afford basic household bills such as energy, water and council tax has increased significantly in recent years.

The Money Advice Trust (MAT) claimed it helped 150,000 people with household debts in 2013 – an increase of 140% since 2007.

In contrast to these figures, there have been fewer reports of people with traditional debt problems, such as loans and overdrafts.

New generation of debt problems

Joanna Elson, chief executive of the MAT said the increased cost of living has eroded many families surplus income. She claimed this this has led to “a new generation of debt problems, one to which more people are vulnerable, once which is harder to resolve, and one which has no definitive solution.”

She continued to say that more people are finding themselves in serious difficulty with debts totalling less than £5,000, and that these debts “can seem impossible” to pay off when there is little room in the household budget.

Whilst she did concede that the recent announcement of an increase to the minimum wage is a “positive step towards helping those families”, she still claimed that “more can be done”.

Resistant to ask for help

However, despite the efforts of MAT in helping those in debt, a recent survey found that adults in debt are hesitant to ask for advice.

The survey of 1,000 people revealed that 69% of British adults in debt have not asked for advice – raising fears that the underlying debt problems could be even worse than previously thought.

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