In the early 90s recession, a lot of innocent people lost their jobs, homes and credit ratings and some suffered the break-up of their marriages, an expert has stated.
Mary Ann Seighhart, writing for the Times, warned that sometimes financial difficulties can hit even the most conscientious borrower like a "tornado", uprooting their life.
"People who borrowed heavily in the good times find themselves falling behind with their repayments. If they are really unlucky, their home gets repossessed," she explained.
However, if house prices fall then some people could find they still owe thousands even after their home has been forcibly repossessed and sold.
For those who are concerned their borrowing costs could tip them into financial difficulties – such as being unable to afford their mortgages – there are a number of routes out of debt.
One option is an individual voluntary arrangement, usually known as an IVA.
Under such an agreement, the debtor would only repay an affordable amount of their debts each month, potentially freeing up cash to make their mortgage repayments easier.