An increase in secured loan arrears and other debt problems has led Citizens Advice to extend its opening hours.The charity has revealed that £10 million of funding provided by the government is to be used to ensure it can expand its service.It stated that the economic downturn has led to problems with secured loans, mortgages and redundancy.According to Citizens Advice, over 5.5 million issues were dealt between April 2007 and March 2008 and the figure is expected to rise.As a result, its network of bureaux will open for approximately 170,000 extra hours over the next 14 months, with each choosing how it will spend its funding.Chief executive of Citizens Advice David Harker remarked: "As people on low and moderate incomes are struggling to make ends meet ... access to reliable, high quality, free, independent advice has never been more vital."The organisation recently called for those struggling with secured loans and other debt to be given more government support.
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