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Fresh Debt Crisis Warning for Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:31am 6th February 2012 (Updated 7:53am 6th February 2012)

The number of Cornish homeowners spending at least a quarter of their wages on paying off credit cards or loans is revealed.

It is claimed almost 140 thousand across the south-west are struggling.

People in Fowey are worried: "We own a business here and you do notice people's spending has tightened up a bit. Particularly for youngsters, it's quite difficult for them to cope at the moment. I've got two young children and trying to support them with a part-time job, my partner's in a full-time job, yeah it's really hard".

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service did the research.

Reps tell us their advice sessions are up 90%

Spokeswoman Una Farrell is urging people not to bury their heads in the sand: "There's a hundred and nineteen thousand households who are spending more than half of their income on their total debt repayments. That's a huge sum. But also it means that they're very vulnerable to any increase or pressure on their budgets such as inflation or if they have a wage freeze.

"If they're young and they're thinking about owning property they just may not have the ability to save up for a deposit. Or if they want to have children they just may not be able to do that. If anything happens such as if they get ill or they lose their job, they're really in serious trouble".

Tips from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service:

1)    Don't buy your head in the sand if you have debts.
2)    Learn to recognise the signs of debt struggles, such as just paying the minimum on your credit card.
3)    Seek free debt advice straight away.
4)    Prioritise your debts. Bills like the mortgage or council tax are more important because the repercussions of not paying these are much higher.

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