Debt is only as bad as the harm that it causes, which is why the Demos report out today has created a 'Harm Index' measuring the impact of debt. It suggests ways that debt support should be tailored to the individual struggles individuals face, and also argues that lenders who cause the most harm face stronger penalties.
So lately I've been researching one of the world's more scary financial terms - debt consolidation - for a few reasons. Some of my female friends feel intimidated or afraid of their finances. They refuse to open bank statements and think they can just bury their heads in the sand and it'll all be OK.
'Bulimic' spenders -purchase only to rush back to the shops, guilt-stricken to return what they've bought, once they realise they can't afford it or that it's not actually going to give them the lifestyle they want. Although their 'reverse shopping' habit keeps their finances under control they expose themselves to high stress levels and feelings of self-loathing.
This year the Tories are preparing a new, massive attack on students, which promise to be as regressive and damaging to the future of millions of people as the trebling of tuition fees has been - plotting to sell all our student loans to private debt collectors, who are hungry to make a profit out of saddling us with more debt than we signed up to. Students are, however, building a movement to stop the government in its tracks.
Britain is in the throes of a personal finance crisis. Dramatic figures out recently revealed that personal debt totals £1.43trillion and the average household debt is almost twice as high as a decade ago at £54,000. To some this would come as a surprise, but to many it is confirmation that they are not alone in their struggle.
I was born into a generation with the world at my fingertips, raised on the assumption that my financial prospects would be the same, if not greater, than those of my parents but instead the world we were told we could have, is out of reach; that career ladder we were all aiming to get on, is a high-chair away.
George Osborne has announced the Conservative Party would cut housing benefit for under-25s after the next election as part of £25billion spending cuts, removing a vital lifeline for many homeless young people who are already struggling financially. Such a move would be catastrophic for the 6,000 homeless young people Centrepoint supports each year.