Loans customers in Scotland that find themselves in financial difficulty are to offered a new public service.
The National Debtline is to give consumers advice about how to cope with the economic downturn, providing tips on how to improve their situation.
It has been created by the Scottish government, with £382,000 being invested in the scheme.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon explained that the service, which is to be managed by the Money Advice Trust, will help people face their problems.
"As the recession bites, families across Scotland are feeling the pressure financially, with increases in food prices, rising bills, and mortgage and lending uncertainty all adding to the headache," she remarked.
Last week the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted that the credit crunch is coming to an end.
Economist at the body Charles Davis noted that the UK has come through the worst of the downturn, which suggests that unsecured loans may become easier to obtain.
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