Loss of income and spiralling debt problems have been cited as the two main triggers for serious financial difficulties.
A study by debt management company Eurodebt found a drop in income (23%) and mounting debt troubles (23%) accounted for the most cases seen by the firm.
Poor financial management (15%), divorce/separation (10%) and illness (7%) also featured highly as the main drivers behind debt difficulties between April 2011 and March 2012.
“Our figures show that ‘loss of income’ remains the top catalyst for the people we see falling into debt,” explained Kevin Still of EuroDebt.
“This could be anything from one bread winner losing their job to having a pay cut or a reduction in work hours.
“With ‘debt spiral’ coming a close second and followed by ‘poor financial management’ it is clear that once someone gets into debt, with pressure on their finances from a variety of angles, it’s hard for them to manage their way out.
“We think that’s why so many people use one credit card or loan, including payday loans, to pay off another, highlighting the very real need for support.”