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Debt advice

Key points

  • There has been an increase in the number of people seeking advice on debt-related issues.
  • Debt advice agencies report a change in the profile of people seeking their help with debt.

Agencies working to alleviate debt-related problems in London have seen an increase in demands for their services over the last two years. Data from Citizens Advice showed that in 2009, CABx advised on approximately 150,000 debt related-problems across London, up by 20% from 2007. This was one of the largest increases for any single advice category over the period. This increase was made possible by an increase in resources available for offering advice to clients, but it seems that debt took up a disproportionate amount of this increase.

It is also interesting to note that anecdotal evidence suggests that the profile of people seeking debt advice also seems to be changing. According to the Up to our Neck in it report published by Toynbee Hall, more owner-occupiers and working people are now approaching debt advice agencies as compared to a more conventional client base of social renters and unemployed or economically inactive people. The changing nature of the clients may be indicative of how the recession has hit the working poor the hardest.

See also household repossessions as an indicator of households struggling with debt.

Data note

Citizens Advice 150,000 debt related-problems refers to the 'advice issues' on which a client has received advice, not the number of individual clients advised, as one client may be advised on multiple issues.

Indicator last updated: 2 June 2014