The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said while most households in Britain with unsecured debts had more than enough assets to repay them, "problem debt" was an issue among the least well-off.
David Sturrock, a research economist at the IFS, said: "Most unsecured debt is held by high income households who look able to manage it, and more than half of those with debts have enough financial assets to pay them off.
THE average adult in Huddersfield is shouldering unsecured debts of more than PS18,500, according to shock figures.
Unsecured debt refers to any debt that is not protected by a guarantor or asset - such as bank loans, credit cards and payday loans.
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "Many young people already face challenges getting on the career and housing ladders - doing this while saddled with huge unsecured debts
make it an uphill struggle."
ACTION has been taken against four lenders that took steps to have unsecured debts
customers were struggling to pay secured against their homes.
HMRC mounted the legal challenge last month to the rule, which states that, in the event of an insolvency, football debts have to be paid in full ahead of unsecured debts
, including money owed through tax.
THE number of people in the West Midlands with unsecured debts
is rising as the credit crunch bites.
include credit cards, store cards, deferred credit agreements and ordinary personal loans.
The proposed means-testing legislation would require debtors with income levels sufficient to repay part of their unsecured debts
to file under Chapter 13--which says debtors must repay their debts over a three- to five-year period.
Paul Goodwin, head of pensions marketing at Aviva, said: "While it is great news that families are saving more, the fact that many have higher unsecured debts
and have seen an almost blanket increase in day-to-day living costs is deeply concerning.
Around a quarter of them have amassed unsecured debts
of more than pounds 20,000, according to debt solutions company One Advice.