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Charity reports fall in average debt level in Redhill
5:01pm Monday 7th January 2013 in News
A debt charity has reported a fall in the average level of debt owed by people in Redhill.
StepChange Debt Charity said that new figures show that the average unsecured debt level of people in the town contacting its helpline was on course to fall last year.
The charity said that for the first nine months of 2012, the average StepChange Debt Charity client in Redhill owed £21,013. The cause said that compared with an average amount owed of £21,265 during the same period in 2011.
It said the improved debt figure matched the trend of falling debt levels nationally.
StepChange Debt Charity said it advised 561 people in Redhill regarding their debt problems in the first three quarters of last year.
In 2011, the total number was 703. The cause though is now warning people over the dangers of debt consolidation and urging them to seek help through debt management.
A StepChange Debt Charity spokesman said: “Following Christmas, many people will be struggling with multiple debts including credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans. “In this situation debt consolidation can seem tempting as the stress of these multiple debts may be overwhelming.”
But he added: “StepChange Debt Charity is warning consumers that all too often debt consolidation can compound rather than remedy the problem, with longer repayment terms and ultimately higher levels of debt.
“Recent research by StepChange Debt Charity showed that people who consolidate their debts often return to using other forms of credit and can end up with even higher levels of borrowing.”
The charity is urging anyone struggling with debt to contact it for help and it will draw up a detailed household budget and advise them on the most appropriate debt management solution.
Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “While the fall in average debt levels is welcome, many families are still struggling financially under the burden of low wage growth and rising living costs.”
He said: “To anyone struggling financially, debt consolidation can seem to offer a quick fix, but borrowing more is rarely a good way to deal with a debt problem. “We would encourage anyone who is struggling with problem debt to immediately seek free and impartial help from an organisation like StepChange Debt Charity, who can help by recommending a debt management solution that is tailored specifically to a person’s individual circumstances.”
StepChange Debt Charity can be contacted on its free helpline on 0800 138 1111, open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 3pm on Saturday. Website: www.stepchange.org