The average borrower approaching the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for assistance will take 77 years to clear their debt, the agency has revealed.
A CAB report published today warned that the average person approaching it with debt problems was £13,153 in the red, a third more than three years ago.
The number of people approaching CAB to report difficulties with unsecured borrowing or homeowner loan debts has doubled since 1998, to around 900,000 new cases last year.
The report also said that those seeking help tend to be considerably less well off then the national average, with more than two-thirds reliant on benefits.
“Low income, combined with badly informed and poorly understood financial decisions are at the root of many of our clients’ debt problems,” said CAB boss David Harker.
“For many there is little prospect of their income increasing or their circumstances changing.
“The reality is that they are condemned to a lifetime of poverty overshadowed by an inescapable burden of unpayable debt.
“They need to be given some hope that they can turn things around, with a solution that offers them a fresh start, lifts them out of the poverty trap, and gives them a chance to build better financial skills for the future.”
The CAB is now calling for a new insolvency agency that would allow low-income borrowers to arrange affordable repayment agreements out of court.
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