Households are working hard to cut spending and reduce their debts, but are swimming against a tide of falling real incomes and the high cost of living, according to the debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).
It found that despite cutting down on spending, stagnating incomes meant debtors had no more money available to repay their debts.
The average client in 2011 had just £44 left over after meeting their basic living costs each month.
And people at opposite ends of the age spectrum are being hit hard.
High youth unemployment has exacerbated debt problems for people under 30, whilst the demand for debt advice for the over 60s is also increasing as they fail to pay off what they owe.
So if you are in debt, stuggling to pay off loans or credit card bills, which debts should you pay off as a matter of priority?
What should you do if you are falling behind with credit cards, bills or mortgage payments?
How do you prioritise debt and where can you find free, impartial advice?
If you are facing insolvency or bankruptcy - what are the options?
What are the cheapest credit cards or loans?
Can you pay back loans early and avoid further interest payments?
If you want to withdraw from a loan how much time do you have?
Presenter, Paul Lewis was joined by:
• Laura Wale,
• Liz McVey,
Consumer Credit Counselling Service
• Sylvia Waycot,
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Producer: Bob Howard