Countdown host Carol Vorderman endorses FIRSTPLUS loans
For advice on organisations which can help with the issues raised in this programme, call the BBC Action Line on: 0800 092 2021.
As a petition launches against celebrity endorsement of secured consolidation loans, Paul Kenyon examines how Britain's growing debt mountain is putting thousands at risk of repossession.
Britons owe over £1 trillion on credit cards, loans and mortgages - the equivalent of £17,000 of debt for every man, woman and child.
A recent report by the Bank of England shows a growing number of families are lumping all their debts onto their mortgages, or consolidating debts by taking out a loan secured against their property.
Despite the risks, it is estimated the secured loan industry will be worth more than £30 billion over the next few years.
REAL STORY: HOME OR A LOAN?
Monday, 8 May, 2006
BBC ONE, 1930 BST
Celebrity sells - with highly paid presenters appearing in TV commercials which promise a worry-free future to families weighed down with debt.
In many cases, secured lending can do just that - but some experts are warning it is not always the best course of action for people to take.
We speak to them and to the families in debt who risk losing the roof over their heads.
Real Story: Home Or A Loan?- BBC ONE, Monday 8 May, 2006 at 1930 BST.