Most borrowers have unrealistic expectations about when they can pay off their arrears, according to new research.
The Motley Fool has found that 66 per cent will take longer than they think repaying money owed while 19 per cent cannot afford to make payments at present.
For one in three, debt swallows up a fifth of the income received from their pay packet each month, with the company going on to estimate that the average non-mortgage amount people have to give back is around £11,000.
Head of personal finance at the firm David Kuo called these figures "worrying".
"For many, borrowing money is as easy as walking through a doorway. But it's a good idea to ensure that you have a way out before the door slams shut," he said.
Meanwhile, research from money charity Credit Action has shown that the UK's combined personal debt bill is £1.3 trillion.
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