Both secured and unsecured debt issues worsened in the UK in December, according to figures from charity Credit Action.
Bank of England data for the month revealed that secured lending increased by £1.2 billion and unsecured borrowing edged up by £0.1 billion, which the body said raised the burden UK consumers are carrying.
The charity said that this means the average British household owes £9,000 in unsecured borrowing, or £18,722 for those homes where there is debt.
Furthermore, the average UK adult now owes £30,252, which amounts to 129 per cent of average earnings.
Credit Action added that 9,300 people are going to the Citizens Advice Bureau with debt management problems every day, with 1,000 seeking some form of debt rescheduling.
One positive factor that may help struggling households is the fact that the recession is now over.
Royal London Asset Management economist Ian Kernohan said this week that he expected further information to lead to the growth figure for the final quarter of 2009 to be revised upwards.