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Northern Ireland a debt hotspot, says CCCS 30 August 2011

DROs were recommended to around 13.9% of people in Northern Ireland which contacted the charity in June – the first month they became available in the region – which was more than double the average rate of around 6% in England and Wales.

Debbie Mills, managing counsellor for CCCS Northern Ireland, said: "The fact that we are seeing more than twice the level of demand for DROs as in other parts of the UK shows how valuable their introduction will be in helping people who are struggling with debt in Northern Ireland.

"With rising prices continuing to push up the cost of living, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to cope at the moment - and our advice to anyone struggling with their debt repayments is to seek free advice as early as possible."

It comes as CCCS warned of a looming debt crisis for young people in Northern Ireland after research revealed that under-25s in the area have the highest debt levels of any UK age group.

Young people in Northern Ireland who contacted CCCS for help in 2010 owed on average £8,272 in unsecured debts – a figure significantly higher than the UK average for under-25s of £6,316. Across all age groups, average debt levels in Northern Ireland bucked the UK trend downwards – rising by 4.9 percent, to £18,855.

In 2010, the average CCCS client’s monthly income in Northern Ireland was £55 short of the amount needed to cover basic living expenses, much less debt repayments, each

Mills added: "These figures are extremely worrying, and show just how serious the debt problem in Northern Ireland is in danger of becoming."



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