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104 in battle with debt

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
104 in battle with debt

OVER 100 people in the Dumfries area called a charity for help with debt advice in the first half of this year.

Figures released this week by StepChange show that 104 people locally called their helpline, each with an average debt of £10,592. They revealed that after paying off all essential bills, they were left with just £1 a month.
And the charity has warned that many in the region are still facing a daily struggle with debt despite the UK’s gradual economic recovery.
Chief executive Mike O’Connor said: “Everyone faces ups and downs in life, but more than 11m people in Britain are now experiencing some financial difficulty and a quarter of those are in severe problem debt. “Dumfries is no exception and although the economy is beginning to recover, millions of households remain vulnerable to shocks to their income over the next year and many could find they have no alternative but to turn to credit to cope, which can quickly make the problem much worse.”
He described the ‘devastating effect’ debt can have, including sleepless nights, anxiety and mental and physical health problems with knock-on effects for the wider family.

The StepChange Debt Charity free phone helpline is available on 0800 138 1111 and is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday.

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