As well as using loans for large purchases and home improvement, many people are borrowing to consolidate their existing debt, one expert has claimed.
Steve Baillie, head of loans at Sainsbury's Bank, said that while 30 per cent of the firm's customers choose loans to buy a new car or van and 25 per cent borrow to improve their homes, 40 per cent aim to consolidate their debts.
"If you are going down the consolidation route you have to be strict with yourself so that you're not just deferring the problem for future months and years," Mr Baillie warned.
People looking to take out a loan should make sure they shop around to compare the market, he advised.
Credit Action recently reported that average household debt, excluding mortgages, in the UK stood at £8,856 at the end of July 2007.
Overall, the charity noted that consumer lending to individuals rose by 5.3 per cent during the previous 12 months.
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