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Citizens Advice: Thousands of self-employed seek debt advice

6 May 2014

Debt makes up a third of the problems that self-employed people need help with from Citizens Advice Bureaux up and down the country.

Sixty percent of those seeking help have turned to credit cards, unsecured personal loans and overdrafts in an attempt to keep their businesses afloat.

Citizens Advice is highlighting these findings as the economy reaches a record number of self-employed workers.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice said:

“Many people working for themselves are seeing their efforts unravelled by debt.

“Self-employment can be a positive route back into work, but people need to assess the risks when starting out on their own. With thousands of business owners coming to Citizens Advice each year with debt problems from companies they've built up and invested in, it is clear that for some people self-employment is not offering financial security.

"People are desperately turning to personal credit to keep their companies afloat. Banks must start listening to those small and medium sized businesses that drive the economy and help them with the vital support they need."

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.