Four million people are concerned their credit rating is irreparably damaged following their financial difficulties, a new report has found.
In response to the findings, Steve Folkard of AXA suggested money worries can be a social issue as well as financial.
He said there are a number of ways in which an individual can become blacklisted but that failing to pay bills is a "sure fire way" for someone to make their credit rating worse.
Mr Folkard called upon people to take action to improve their financial situation.
"On an individual level and for the nation as a whole, we need to recognise that decisive action is the only way to solve the problem. Otherwise we will simply spiral further and further into debt," he continued.
For borrowers who wish to extract themselves from problem debt, there are a number of options.
Debt consolidation, informal agreements with creditors, individual voluntary arrangements or the services of a debt management firm are some of the options open to borrowers.