The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it is unacceptable that people struggling to make ends meet are being encouraged to sign up to "unsuitable" and expensive debt management plans.
The regulator, which is set to start regulating consumer credit, said debt management firms must provide consumers with information on where they can get free debt advice as part of the new rules which come into force on April 1.
Firms will also have to pass on significant repayments to creditors from day one of a debt management plan.
The FCA is concerned that too many firms are encouraging consumers into costly fee-paying debt management plans that are not tailored to their needs or to what they can afford when the focus should be on agreeing a sustainable plan or the right solution.
More top news
At least four plots attempts to smuggle highly-radioactive materials to Islamic State militants were stopped in the last five years.
Women should be warned not to drink alcohol for the whole of pregnancy to avoid harming their baby, researchers said.
The Hollywood actor went out of his way to try and reunite the woman with her ID - months after a stranger handed him back his credit card.