Sadly for many of us, borrowing and debt play some part of everyday life and is something we read and hear about more often than we might care to.
But while the dangers of getting into debt with payday loans or other high-interest sums are well publicised, new research has found that one of the lesser-known forms of debt is causing huge damage to families across the UK.
According to experts at the Money Advice Trust's debt help service National Debtline, more than 25,000 people called up last year for help with loans they had taken out with catalogue companies that had then spiralled out of control. This huge number of enquiries, which equals around 64 separate calls every single day, is nearly twice the amount made to the National Debtline five years ago.
And it looks like the problem is not going away, either. In the four months since the beginning of this year, around 7,000 people have been forced to seek help from the Money Advice Trust after catalogue credit got the better of them.
Enforceable in the courts
The big problem with mail order catalogue credit, according to Money Advice Trust boss Joanna Elson, is that people do not realise that when they decide to spread the cost of a mail order purchase, they are entering into a contract that could land them in court if broken.
For many penny pinching families, the temptation of a 'buy now, pay later' deal is too much to resist. But be warned; you may not hand over as much straight away, but you will end up paying more in the long run.
If you are one of those people trying to hold back a rising tide of debt, fear not; there are several daily steps you can take to find crucial ways to bring your debt under control.
First and foremost, it is goes without saying that you should never be tempted to skip a payment. Doing so is not only simply delaying an existing problem, it is also likely to land you with a punishment premium on top of what you are already facing.
Secondly, be sure to keep careful track of your expenses. If you make sure that you are keeping your spending to a minimum, you will be able to speed up the rate at which you cut your debt.
And always remember that help is available! There are a number of dedicated services to help you knock debt on the head and you should seek them out if you have any concerns. Find out more in this video on how to manage your debt.