At least 1.4 million families are living with "problem" debt with a further three million households on the verge of sliding into financial difficulty and leaving their children in distress, according to a new report.
The Children's Society and StepChange debt charity have warned about the emotional toll an "extremely precarious" financial position puts on the children of the family.
The stress of keeping up with repayments leads to rows, emotional distress to children and cut backs on essentials, the charities warned.
More top news
Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a shopping centre in Munich - seven of whom were reportedly teenagers.
A plane powered purely by solar power has taken off from Egypt for the final leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the world.
Animal rights group PETA seizes 'teachable moment', warning Pokémon Go users the game is akin to animal cruelty.