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Debt owed by Watford residents has fallen slightly says StepChange Debt Charity
The amount of debt owed by people in Watford contacting a crisis charity dropped slightly last year.
StepChange Debt Charity said the average sum owed by people in the town contacting its help line declined from £21,914 in 2011, to £20,733 in 2012.
Despite the slight decline the charity is warning people about the dangers of consolidating multiple debts into a large single one.
StepChange said consolidation loans could look like an attractive solution but could lead to longer repayment terms and ultimately higher levels of debt.
The warning comes after the festive period when the charity said it can see a surge in people seeking help under the weight of multiple debts including credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans.
Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director of StepChange Debt Charity, said: "While the fall in average debt levels is welcome, many families are still struggling financially under the burden of low wage growth and rising living costs.
"To anyone struggling financially, debt consolidation can seem to offer a quick fix, but borrowing more is rarely a good way to deal with a debt problem.
"We would encourage anyone who is struggling with problem debt to immediately seek free and impartial help from an organisation like StepChange Debt Charity, who can help by recommending a debt management solution that is tailored specifically to a person’s individual circumstances".