The rise in the cost of living may have slowed, but pay increases are still not keeping up with it.
This is a point noted by Matt Hartley, spokesman at the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, who said incomes are still falling in real terms.
He said that rising costs such as energy bills, petrol and other items have made it harder for many to make ends meet.
"The gap that has opened up between households' income and expenditure has led many into serious debt."
"Problem debt really can affect anyone," he noted, observing that a "shock" situation that reduces a person's income is a common cause of such a crisis.
The Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation has dipped significantly and now stands at 2.8 per cent, compared with 5.2 per cent in September last year.
However, the most recent official figures for pay settlements – covering the three months to April – rose by only 1.4 per cent including bonuses or 1.8 per cent excluding them.
By James Francis