UK households will find it increasingly difficult to keep up debt repayments in coming years according to a report by the charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).
Despite a slight reduction in overall debt, the average UK household pays £200 in interest on debts, almost a quarter of average available income according to figures from the final quarter of 2011.
As part of the quarterly Consumer Debt and Credit Report the charity said that the rising price of essentials which outstripped wage increases was causing mounting pressure on households who struggle to make debt repayments.
The report forecasts that the demand for debt advice will remain high as unemployment continues to go up.
The number of middle aged and elderly affected by debt problems will also climb. The CCCS said that it expects the proportion of clients over the age of 45 to rise to 48% by December 2014 up from 28% in January 2005. The charity said:
"The demand for debt advice is forecast to remain high and rise in the coming years as unemployment worsens across the UK.
"Middle-aged and older people will be increasingly affected by debt problems severe enough for them to need to seek help, highlighting the challenging financial situation that older households face."