North East hardest hit by debtGovernment must protect debt helpline funding

14 November 2012

Which? is urging the Government to safeguard funding for national debt organisations as new research reveals households in the North East owe almost 34p for every pound in income.

Of the nine English regions, people in the North East have the most debt, owing 34p for every pound in gross income, in contrast to 12p in the South West. The graphic below shows the debt to income ratio across England.

 Debt infographic 

Debt per household stands at £6,000

Overall, British households are in debt by a staggering total of £1.4 trillion - 31% more than the UK’s national debt - while on average each household owes about £6,000 in unsecured debt.

The latest Which? Quarterly Consumer Report, which tracks how people are coping in the current economic climate, has shown people are struggling to cope. It shows 2.4 million households borrowed money from family and friends, while 11.3 million households took out additional finance.

Government must support debt charities

Which? wants the Government to protect funding for debt helplines, like National Debtline, which are a crucial source of information for people who are struggling to manage their finances.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: 'The level of debt owed by people in some regions is shocking, so the government must not cut funding for national debt organisations which provide a vital lifeline for those struggling with debt.

'If people are worried about their finances, our advice is not to ignore the problem and seek help from one of the many debt charities who offer free and independent advice.'

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