Hundreds of people have been helped with £2,500,000 million worth of debt by Citizens Advice 1066 in the last year.
The London Road based charity helped 457 people in total.
It works out as an average debt of nearly £5,500 per person, with the highest amount of debt coming from credit cards and unsecured loans as people struggle to make ends meet.
The charity states that debt is one of the most common problems presented to the bureau, where people from all walks of life ask for help with managing their finances.
Their debt can often build up gradually through increasing costs spiralling out of control or they can happen as a result of sudden change, such as loss of a job, ill health, relationship breakdown or death of a
Specialist Money Advisers at the bureau work with these clients - sometimes over months - to review their expenditure, maximise their income, prioritise their debts and agree a manageable repayment plan with their creditors.
If necessary, they can help clients to apply for a debt relief order or bankruptcy.
Debts with what appear to be very serious consequences can sometimes be easily solved. Like a retired client of the bureau whose wife died unexpectedly leaving unpaid loans and credit card bills. He was in danger of losing his home until the bureau discovered that her credit agreements included life insurance enabling her debts to be cleared.
Dina Christodoulou, chief executive of Citizens Advice 1066 said: “Dealing with debt can be extremely stressful and it is often tempting to ignore it in the hope that it will go away.
“But ignoring debt can lead to court fines, bailiffs knocking on the door or losing your home. The most important thing is to seek advice quickly. Citizens Advice 1066 offers a service that is free, independent, impartial and confidential. Most of all, our advisers understand that anyone can get into debt and deal with people in a non-judgemental way.”
If you would like to discuss debt issues, phone the Money Advice Unit at Citizens Advice 1066 on 01424 721386 from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday or visit the Advice and Community Hub at Renaissance House in London Road