More people struggling with debt

Charity StepChange finds more people are struggling to pay essential household bills

Debt problems rising in the East of England

More and more families in the region are facing a debt crisis and it may also be causing mental health problems.

Figures from by the charity StepChange suggest that as well as more people getting into debt, the number of people who can't pay for essentials like food is growing.

Some families face a shortfall of £600 between their income and their outgoings over the course of a year.

In the Anglia region, the average monthly shortfall in paying essential bills has grown five-fold from £3 per month in 2012 to £16 in 2013. In Colchester, Essex the figure is as high as £58 per month and in Southend it's £38.

Click below to watch a report from ITV Anglia's Elodie Harper

Debt: where to get help?

StepChange Debt Charity has released new figures showing that nearly nine thousand people in the East of England contacted them over debt problems in 2013 - an increase of two and a half thousand on the previous year.

The Charity is urging to people to recognise that they may have a debt problem if they are doing any of the following:

  • juggling or falling behind on essential household bills
  • borrowing to make it through to pay day
  • making just the minimum repayments on your debts
  • borrowing more to pay off existing debts
  • getting hit by late payments or overdraft charges

Anyone struggling with debt can click on the links below to connect to organisations which offer free, confidential help and advice:

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