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Thousands making midnight pleas for help as debt worries mount

Around 180 people a night are reaching for their mobile phone or tablet to get debt advice in the early hours, according to new figures from the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline. The findings come after the charity’s research showed that more than six million Britons are likely to fall behind with their finances in January.
Last year, nearly 48,000 people used mobile devices to go online for help with their debts between midnight and 4am from the charity’s free National Debtline advice service.  A total of 2,513 people – an average of 180 people a night – have made similar midnight pleas for help so far in 2015. 
The charity expects this figure to rise as financial pressures come to a head for many, especially with the arrival of January’s bills following the Christmas period.
Experts are concerned, however, that while demand for National Debtline’s online services is growing, many more people will leave it until their financial position has worsened before they seek out help, and that an even larger number will not seek any help at all.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said:
“Sleepless nights and the strain they cause are among the worst impacts of struggling with debt problems alone. Hundreds of people each night are so concerned that they are reaching for their phones and tablets in the middle of the night to seek help – and at National Debtline we are pleased to be able to give them the advice they need 24 hours a day.
“However, we are even more concerned for the hundreds of thousands of people who may be tossing and turning without knowing that free advice is available.
“Our message to anyone suffering sleepless nights because of problem debt is to act now and get free advice from a charity-run service like National Debtline. We can help you take control of your finances and stop your debts from spiraling - and help you get the sleep you need.”
Money Advice Trust research* released earlier this month showed around one in eight Britons (12.2 percent) say they are likely to fall behind with their finances this month as a result of Christmas spending, equating to an estimated six million people.
National Debtline offers free, independent and confidential advice 24 hours a day online at and on 0808 808 4000, Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9.30am to 1pm
* Earlier research figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,040 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th November - 1st December 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).  Population estimates have been calculated by the Money Advice Trust using YouGov survey results applied to the Office of National Statistics mid-2013 population estimates for GB adults (aged 18+) published here.
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