More Belgians seeking help with debts

A growing number of Belgians have trouble paying for essentials such as food, rent and utility bills. According to figures published last month by the National Bank of Belgium, almost 94,000 households are receiving assistance to help them break out of the spiral of debt.

This is 10% up on the figures for October of last year. The assistance given involves the debtor’s income being managed by a solicitor, a notary or the local social services.

Many local social services are being overwhelmed with requests for help from families that can see no way of clearing their debts.

Essentials costing more

The Flemish Centre for Debt-Relief (VCS) told the daily ‘De Morgen’ that the figures provide evidence that something is seriously amiss.

In more and more cases, those asking for help are no longer shopaholics that like to flash the plastic or people that have taken on a mortgage that is beyond their means.

A growing number of those drowning in debt are individuals or one-income families that are unable to pay for basic essentials such as food, heating and rent without getting themselves into debt.

The rise in food and energy prices has seen many people being forced to use their savings to make ends meet. Once their savings account has been emptied, they have no other choice than to take on a personal loan or run up credit card debts.