There have been dramatic increases in the number of middle-class families that are plunging deeper into the red, with debt agencies becoming overwhelmed with requests for help from households in more affluent areas.

Financial problems are now sweeping through middle Britain, with many professionals at breaking point with their debt. This has been blamed on household budgets being pushed closer to the limit, with the rising costs of living, increased inflation and the end of many fixed-rate mortgage deals. The rise in those seeking help is being blamed on years of cheap credit which saw people overstretching themselves by borrowing more than they can afford to pay back.

Further reports suggest that there has been an 85% in people looking for help with their debt with the biggest rise seen in the middle-class Tunbridge Wells, up 234%. Co-ordinator of Transact, Jamie Elliott, said: “The face of debt has changed. Since the credit crunch started, there has been a big increase in professionals and home-owners coming for help – you just didn’t see these people before at all.”

Mr Elliott predicts that this situation will get worse, and said that there are countless examples of those on excellent salaries who are still feeling the burden of debt, one of which includes a television producer earning £70,000 a year who had acquired over £50,000 of debt.