Debt problems are on the rise amongst self employed workers who have seen business suffer as a result of the economic downturn.
As the fallout from the recession continues to bite, people have been cutting back on their use of luxury services, such as hairdressers, gardeners and taxi drivers.
The vulnerability of this category of self employed workers is now being reflected in the numbers of calls being received by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service's (CCCS) Self Employed Centre.
Despite having helped over six and a half thousand self employed people this year, the CCCS said half of callers were currently unable to start to repay their debts as they had a deficit budget and therefore no money to spare.
However, despite the struggles of some, other people have ironically found self employment to be the solution to their personal debt problems.
One man who had contacted the charity for help with debt problems after losing his job has retrained as a plumber, allowing him to earn enough money to start repaying his debts again.
"The economic difficulties of the past few years have meant that a lot of people are carrying out work that they would have previously paid other people to do," said Geoff Waugh, head of the CCCS Self Employed Centre.
"This has left many self employed people without work and unable to maintain their debt commitments.
"The personal finances of the self employed are often complicated, with little distinction between their personal and business finances.
"It is therefore particularly important that anyone self employed who is struggling financially should seek help as soon as they realise they have a problem."
Debt advice specialists such as the CCCS will offer free and impartial advice to those with debt problems.
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