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Rising consumer borrowing could spell problems for people’s finances down the line, says Citizens Advice

1 March 2017

As the Bank of England’s latest money and credit statistics show an increase in consumer borrowing, Citizens Advice says right now more people are seeking help for debt problems from essential household bills.

The Bank of England’s figures for January 2017 show consumer credit grew by 10.3% in the year to January to £194 billion.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:

“Consumer borrowing continues to rise at a time when people are already struggling with debts from essential household bills.

“In the last 12 months we’ve helped 200,000 people with household debts such as rent, fuel and council tax, in comparison to 150,000 people with consumer credit debts such as credit cards and loans.

“Turning to credit can spell problems further down the line if an unexpected event - such as the loss of a job - makes it difficult to keep up with repayments. But right now, the struggle to keep on top of household bills is putting more people at risk of financial hardship.  

“For people struggling with household debts, it’s really important there is free, independent help available. Citizens Advice can help anyone worried about their finances.”

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
  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.