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Nine million 'in severe debt'

Nearly nine million people are estimated to be trapped in a spiral of severe debt in the UK, the Government-backed body the Money Advice Service (MAS) has found. Just one in six getting help to break free.

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More than half of those in debt are working

The report used information from credit checking company Experian to build a profile of those who have sunk badly into debt.

Families dependent on benefits made up around one fifth (20.2%) of those who are over-indebted, while "worried" working families who find being in debt a constant burden accounted for a similar proportion (19.4%).

More than half of those in debt working Credit: Barry Cronin/PA Wire

Nearly one in 10 (9.8%) of those with bad debts were identified as people who are working for the first time and one in eight (11.3%) are struggling students. Some 1.1% of this group are people eking out an uncomfortable retirement.

Almost three-fifths (58%) of those with severe debts were found to be in employment and nearly half (48%) live in a privately-owned home.

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