Manchester has the highest concentration of debt stress in the UK, according to recent research.
Figures from credit reference agency Experian show that almost 29 per cent of households across the city are dealing high or very high levels of debt-related stress and for some consumers the problems have become so severe they have contemplated suicide.
An ITV program this week will highlight the plight of some of the country’s most seriously indebted consumers, including 23-year-old ambulance worker James Masterman who is convinced his arrears will take decades to pay off.
Mr Masterman told the Manchester Evening News: "It was like, ‘well, what’s the point anymore? I can’t afford to keep on going, I can’t afford what I’m doing. I can’t afford to live’."
Individual voluntary arrangements, also known as IVAs, offer a way out of debt for thousands of people each year in the UK.
The latest figures from YouGov suggest that there are currently close to eight million Britons in serious debt trouble.