Need for Free Debt Advice Grows in January

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Debt problems continue to cause considerable problems for many Brits, as new research shows a sharp rise in the number of people seeking online help for debt.

The National debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) says that 8,591 people used its online counselling tool CCCS Debt Remedy in January this year, twice the number of people counselled online during the previous month and a higher number than any month in 2010.

With 65,825 people completing counselling through CCCS Debt Remedy last year, the charity predicts a dramatic rise in 2011.

“The next year will be very difficult for many people and I am concerned that those struggling with debt will end up being charged for debt advice because they are unaware that free advice and support is available,” says Delroy Corinaldi, CCCS External Affairs Director.

"I hope that the availability of this free service which can be used at any time online will help prevent people paying for debt advice unnecessarily."

Today, February 15th, according to financial advice body Unbiased, is Debt Freedom Day, marking as it does the day when borrowers are free of the interest on their debts this year. According to the research, personal loan levels in the UK reached over £120 billion in 2010, and consumers built up credit card debt of over £58 billion.

CCCS says that the sharp rise in debt problems will continue as there will be increasing demands on household budgets as a result of inflation and tax changes. CCCS is concerned that uncertainty about continued public funding for free debt advice will lead many to consider fee-charging debt relief companies, many of whom exasperate debt levels further.

According to the research, personal loan levels in the UK reached over £120 billion in 2010, and consumers built up credit card debt of over £58 billion. Much of this debt was caused as a result of credit card debt and mounting interest rates.

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