CAB plans to train more debt advisers

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The Independent Online
THE HUGE rise in the number of people running up debts has led to increased pressure on the Citizens Advice Bureau money advice services, writes Caroline Merrell.

Because of this, the CAB is planning to increase the number of people trained to give debt advice from 3,000 to 4,000.

The increase in trained advisers is being funded by a pounds 51,000 grant from National Westminster Bank.

Pete Tutton, manager of Norfolk's CAB debtline service, said that the average debt of people who approached CAB for advice was about pounds 10,000.

'Debts are a real cocktail. Usually, people have property debts or rental arrears and unpaid bills. They also often have unpaid credit cards.'

In some cases clients will be suffering from business debts. 'We have had people with debts as high as pounds 250,000,' Mr Tutton said.

CAB calculated that in one centre in Greater London the average debt was nearly pounds 15,000. According to Mr Tutton the Norfolk centre deals with 20 new debt cases a day.

He said that it tried to solve people's problems by advising them of social security benefits, and by trying to cut their expenses to fit their income.

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