It is no longer only those on low to average incomes who are feeling the financial strain and suffering with debt problems. According to recent research by Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), 12% of their clients earn more than £30,000 but still cannot afford their debt repayments.

This figure has jumped from 8.7% in 2007, and the commons causes of this increase are thought to be  unemployment and falling house prices which are putting high levels of pressue on tightened household budgets.

UK personal debt levels are approaching £1.5 trillion, so it is likely that the number of people who are struggling with their personal debt will increase, especially due to the unstable economic climate. Regionally, the south-east of England has the highest level of debt at an average of £29,000.

Malcolm Hurlston, the CCCS chairman, commented: “When unemployment triggers a debt problem, the fall in income can leave the borrower struggling to service both mortgage and unsecured debts, while the fall in house prices and growth in negative equity takes away the option of selling to clear the mortgage.”