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Revealed: UK towns with the biggest debt problems

Shetland or Slough? Which has the biggest debts?

New research from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) reveals the parts of the UK with the highest personal debt.

In 2010, CCCS clients reported that they had an average debt of £19,338 on credit cards, personal loans and other unsecured credit. Shetland had the lowest average debt in the UK, while Slough had the highest.

Unsurprisingly, the south east of England has the highest average debt. The infographic below highlights two of these (Slough and Watford), but of the 10 postcode areas with the highest average debt, nine are in London or the south east, with Crewe in Cheshire completing the top 10.

Which? debt expert Martyn Saville commented: ‘The surprising thing about these new statistics isn’t that the south east of England has the highest personal debt levels, but how uniform the broad debt levels are across the country. Once you factor in regional differences in salaries and house prices, as well as job insecurity and high food and fuel inflation, it’s arguably those areas outside the south east that are at greatest risk from unmanageable debt. If you’re struggling with your finances, it’s best to seek independent advice sooner rather than later.’

CCCS debt geography infographic

Which? borrowing and debt advice

If you’re struggling with debt, read the Which? guide How to deal with debt, including 10 reasons you should never use a commercial debt management company, together with contact details for free debt advice organisations including Citizens Advice, CCCS, National Debtline and Payplan.

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