Beware of debt

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A CHARITY has issued a Christmas debt warning for cash-strapped Wigan residents.

According to new figures from debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), the average person in Wigan seeking help with their debts had just £24 left over each month after meeting their basic living expenses. And they are now warning that the added pressures of Christmas will push many further into the red.

A total of 675 people in the Wigan area contacted CCCS last year for advice on dealing with an average of £17,619 owed on credit cards, personal loans and other kinds of unsecured debt.

The charity recently warned of its concern over personal debt in Wigan after revealing that the number of people contacting it for help in the area had risen by 44 percent in just two years.

Their new figures reveal the extent of the challenge facing many struggling households who can barely afford to meet their basic living expenses and have hardly any money left over to repay debt or save for the future. The charity is warning that high inflation and rising bills in the period since the data was collected mean that the situation is likely to be even worse for families in Wigan in the run up to this Christmas.

Delroy Corinaldi, CCCS director of external affairs, said: “Many households in Wigan who were already struggling to cope have seen their disposable income fall relentlessly this year, and I am concerned that the added pressures of Christmas will push many further into the red.

“I would urge anyone in Wigan who is in this position to seek free advice from a debt charity such as CCCS as early as possible. Don’t leave it until January to seek help – as the earlier you seek free advice on how to deal with the problem, the easier it will be to solve.”

They provides free and confidential debt advice via its telephone helpline (0800 138 1111) and online counselling tool CCCS Debt Remedy at www.cccs.co.uk