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Citizens Advice calls for money advice to be offered at key life moments as consumer borrowing rises

4 May 2017

As the Bank of England’s latest money and credit statistics show an increase in consumer debts such as credit cards and loans, Citizens Advice is calling on the next government to make sure people can get the right support to manage their finances, particularly at key stages of their lives such as buying a home or having a baby.

The Bank of England’s figures for March 2017 show consumer credit increased by 10.2% in the year to March, to £197.4 billion.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice said:

“Consumer credit is rising at a time when people are already struggling to pay for the basics such as housing costs and heating their homes.

“In the last year, Citizens Advice helped 350,000 people with debt issues, with the numbers of people unable to meet debts on essential bills outstripping those with consumer debts such as credit cards and loans.

“Changing life circumstances such as the loss of a job, getting married or starting a family can put pressure on people’s finances and mean they need to think differently about their income and outgoings.

“The next government should consider offering people advice on their finances at key stages in their lives to help them take control of their finances and plan for the future.”

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, 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 get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  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. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.