More Britons could face needing debt help if the world endures a new recession, something that a group of world leaders has argued can only be avoided through concerted government-level action.
Prime minister David Cameron is among the signatories of a letter urging members of the G20 to act, ahead of the group's November summit in Cannes.
It was also signed by the leaders of Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea.
Arguing that a "lack of visible political will" is itself a barrier to economic recovery, it urges nations to get on top of their deficits and other financial problems, including the eurozone, with whom Britain has a vital trading relationship.
The letter said: "Eurozone governments and institutions must act swiftly to resolve the Euro crisis and all European economies must confront the debt overhang to prevent contagion to the wider global economy."
In his own comments, Mr Cameron argued: "Every country has got to face up to its own problems and difficulties and deal with them."
Should this not happen, the world economic situation may deteriorate, plunging countries like the UK back into recession and causing more personal debt through business failures and redundancies.
However, paying off debt has been blamed by some for slowing down the economy, with the Labour Party and the Trades Union Congress arguing the UK government is cutting "too far and too fast".
And trimming personal debt also has a negative effect as it uses up cash that could be spent in shops, head of consumer finance at lovemoney.com Ed Bowsher stated this week.
By James Francis