CCCS: Real problems hidden by 'comfortable' debtors

25 April 2006
The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) warns that despite recent research from CreditExpert, suggesting the British public are now more at ease with being in debt, this hides what is fast becoming a serious issue.

Last week, the findings of CreditExpert showed three-quarters of Britons are 'comfortable' with their level of borrowing, with only a small percentage saying they thought they were in difficulty.

Frances Walker, a spokesperson for the CCCS, said that the issue was not the proportion of people who felt they could cope, but the increasing number and serious nature of those that have problems.

"Between four and eight per cent of borrowers are in difficulty," she said. "That is a lot of people, but in fact it represents a small proportion.

"The problem is people owe more than in the past," Ms Walker continued. "The average debt of people who come to us for advice is £30,000. Two years ago it was £27,000."

A more pertinent fact revealed by CreditExpert's survey, according to analysts, is the proportion of people who are in debt, but are unaware of their credit rating or credit history, meaning they are "blissfully unaware" of the complete picture.

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