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Exeter Citizens' Advice Bureau warns of soaring debt

The Citizens' Advice Bureau is calling for more Government support for people on benefits Credit: ITV News

A charity in Exeter is warning the amount of debt facing its clients has risen by almost £3,000 this year.

The Citizen's Advice Bureau says the average amount of urgent debt owed is more than £6,000 for expenses such as mortgages, rent and council tax.

The charity is calling for more Government support with benefits and help to buy or rent property.

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Your views on family debt

We asked you for your comments on reports that many families are struggling to cope with rising levels of debt. Here are some of the views posted on our Facebook page.

"It started with struggling to buy treats days out new clothes etc. Now its struggling to pay the bills and rent each week. Being a working single mum aint all its cracked up to be. Times are tough" - Miranda Heath

"I found it difficult to begin with but with clever management i have been able to treat myself and daughter weekly. I keep a bill account and a shopping account. The bill account gets topped up weekly. I too am also a working single mum. (currently on maternity)." - Claire Louise

"A third of families borrow to buy essentials for children, the other 2 thirds sponge off the state" - Nigel Topp

Where to go for debt advice

Today we are looking in to a new report which suggests that more than 160,000 children across the west country are living in families with debt problems.

Research out today shows more than 1 in 10 families in the region are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments.

Below are some useful links to agencies which specialise in helping people who have financial problems.

Step Change: http://www.stepchange.org/

0800 138 1111 Step Change offer a free online advice tool, Debt Remedy, where you can enter your debt details and receive advice in 20 minutes.

My Money Steps: https://www.mymoneysteps.org/

0808 808 4000 My Money Steps is an online service from National Debtline, allowing you to get free online advice, and by phone.

Money Advice Service: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en

0300 500 5000 Chat to their online team, or call for free, unbiased, independent advice.

Christians Against Poverty: https://www.capuk.org/

01274 760720 A charity set up in 1996, CAP provide money courses, debt help, and have centres set up all over the UK.

Citizens Advice Bureau: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/

08444 111 444 Citizens Advice can provide online, telephone, and in-person support with branches located throughout the UK.

Third of families borrow to buy essentials for children

Third of families borrow to buy essentials for children Credit: ITV News

More than 160,000 children across the west country are living in families with debt problems. New research out today shows more than 1 in 10 families in the region are failing to keep up with household bills and loan repayments. It also shows that a third of families have had to borrow money in the last year to pay for essentials for their children. There are calls today for the government to offer parents more support.

One in eight will struggle to pay the rent this month

1 in 8 will struggle to pay the rent or mortgage in January Credit: ITV News West Country

One in eight people in the South West fear they won't be able to pay their rent or mortgage at the end of the month, according to housing charity Shelter. It's urging those with financial problems to seek help before matters spiral out of control

Shelter says more than 40 per cent of householders expect to struggle with bills

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