The extent of the difficulties facing those in debt has been laid bare by a leading advice charity.
Christians Against Poverty said that around one in ten of its clients don’t have a bed to sleep in, while well over three quarters struggle to sleep as a result of their financial woes.
For many, the simple job of opening the post is a cause for considerable anxiety; such is the hold that unmanageable debt has over their lives.
The charity carried out its survey in order to hammer home the scale of the challenges facing a growing number of Britons.
With a typical client owing in the region of £14,300, it was not uncommon for those in difficulties to have given up essential items and lost their access to the internet.
In extremis, many turn to borrowing from friends or family or else rely on either credit cards or overdrafts to get by.
The charity’s annual review warned that this ultimately stored up problems for the future.
“This is an unsustainable solution that pushes the financial crunch point further down the line, but escalates the level of debt when this happens,” said the Christians Against Poverty report.
“Shame, fear and believing no one can help cause clients to delay seeking help for two years on average. This extended period of financial hardship and worry sees living standards and mental health deteriorate as debts spiral out of control.
“This means seven in ten end up behind with a priority bill and average debt levels hit more than £14,000 before clients get the help they need.”