This means the average household now owes £7,944 in 'unsecured' debt; (that's debt you can't lose your home over), so we're talking anything owed on credit and store cards, loans and overdrafts, but not mortgages.
This is up by a whopping 48 interest if you're paying around 18 on store cards.
• No savings or a balance you can't pay off? Switch debts to cards offering 0 in fees but it buys you time to clear your debts. Right now you can get up to two years interest free with a Barclaycard Platinum card.
• Pay off as much as you can before any 0 card? Go for one with the lowest long term rate you can find and pay off as much as you can as fast as you can.
Need specialist debt advice?
There are lots of places you can go for free debt advice including:
• Citizens Advice has contact details for your nearest branch.
• National Debtline, 0808 808 4000
• Consumer Credit Counselling Service, 0800 138 1111
Whatever you do, don't pick up the phone and call one of those debt management companies you see advertised on daytime TV. They'll charge you another heap of money for help sorting out your debts which is all stuff people like Citizens Advice can do for you for free. Interest rates can sometimes be more than 1000.
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