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Rising Debt in York


6:02am 9th January 2013

New figures from StepChange Debt Charity show that the average unsecured debt level of people in York contacting its helpline was on course to rise for 2012. The charity is now warning consumers over the dangers of debt consolidation, and recommending the benefits of debt management.


For the first nine months of 2012, the average StepChange Debt Charity client in York owed £18,858, say the charity. In 2011 the average amount owed was £17,463, they add. The rise in the average debt levels of York stands in contrast to the national trend of falling debt levels say StepChange.


In the first three quarters of 2012 StepChange Debt Charity advised 638 people in York regarding their debt problems. In 2011 that number was 792.


StepChange Debt Charity is warning consumers of the dangers of debt consolidation and urging them to seek help through debt management.


Following Christmas, many people will be struggling with multiple debts including credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans, say the charity. In this situation debt consolidation can seem tempting, they add as the stress of these multiple debts may be overwhelming. StepChange Debt Charity is warning consumers that all too often debt consolidation can compound rather than remedy the problem with longer repayment terms and ultimately higher levels of debt.


Recent research by StepChange Debt Charity showed they say that people who consolidate their debts often return to using other forms of credit and can end up with even higher levels of borrowing.


StepChange Debt Charity say they are urging anyone struggling with debt to seek help from the charity which will draw up a detailed household budget and advise on the most appropriate debt management solution.


Commenting on the findings, Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “The rise in average debt levels is concerning, especially when compared with the falling national average.


“Many families are struggling under a burden of debt as household budgets are squeezed by low wage growth and rising living costs.


“To anyone struggling financially, debt consolidation can seem to offer a quick fix, but borrowing more is rarely a good way to deal with a debt problem. We would encourage anyone who is struggling with problem debt to immediately seek free and impartial help from an organisation like StepChange Debt Charity, who can help by recommending a debt management solution that is tailored specifically to a person’s individual circumstances”.

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