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The issue of problem debt is growing and has risen to epidemic levels, says the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Most Rev Justin Welby says that when those in debt contacted one debt charity their total debt is equal to 96% of their annual household income.

He highlights that last year many financial institutions were flagging up issues over consumer borrowing levels and the potential problems this will bring to people already struggling with debt.

The Archbishop says: “Problem debt is at epidemic levels.”

Problem debt has a big impact on the lifestyles of those struggling

The debt charity says that problem debt has a big impact on the lifestyles of those struggling with 37% of their clients saying they were afraid to leave their home.

Also, 73% admitted they were too scared to answer their telephone and 60% said they were afraid to answer the door.

The charity also highlights that along with financial difficulty, there are issues with isolation since those in debt are unable to afford the cost of travelling to social events or to meet friends for meals.

They add that the pressure from creditors hassling those in debt also leads to deteriorating mental health.

The charity’s chief executive said: “Debt touches all areas of life from health, relationships, children’s welfare and housing.”

Struggling with debt and living in Scotland

For those who are struggling with debt and living in Scotland, there are a number of solutions available. The better known ones include a trust deed and a debt arrangement scheme.

While these two debt solutions for Scots are fairly similar, the big difference is that under the debt arrangement scheme they will repay everything.

For those who sign up to a Scottish trust deed, then the amount of debt that may be remaining when the agreed period ends will be written off.

There is a helpful team of debt advisers available at Scotland’s Trust Deed and they can discuss the pros and cons of a trust deed and a debt arrangement scheme.

Discuss the potential of a debt management plan

It may also pay to discuss the potential of a debt management plan, debt write-off and consolidation and also informal negotiation.

There’s also an online debt test at the Scotland’s Trust Deed website so someone who is living in Scotland and looking for answers to resolve their debt problems can find out instantly whether there’s a potential solution available.