8.2 million UK adults are suffering with financial worries - that’s around one in six of the population - according to The Money Advice Service (MAS).
Younger adults, larger families and single parents are particularly at risk, says the government-backed body.
According to the findings, having a child increases your likelihood of money problems by more than 50%, while renting a property, rather than owning, means you are twice as likely to suffer with debt.
The biggest debt hotspots in the UK were named as Sandwell, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, with nearly one in four people over-indebted in these areas.
In contrast, those living in East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire in Scotland and East Dorset, are least likely to be over-burdened with debt.
In the study of some 16,000 adults, individuals were defined as over-indebted if they had fallen behind with their bills in at least three of the last six months, or said that their debts were a ‘heavy burden’.
Having children increases the probability of debt problems by more than 50%, from 13% for those with no children, to 20% for those with at least one child.
Renters are 25% likely to be over-indebted, compared to 12% of those who own their own home, according to the MAS.
“We know that debt advice works but currently, only one in five people with financial difficulties seek advice. Today we are calling on everyone with problem debt or money worries, no matter how large or small, to access free advice as soon as possible,” says Caroline Siarkiewicz, head of debt advice at the MAS, an independent body set up by government to offer money tips.
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