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Insolvency advice could help some Britons to avoid building up a catastrophic burden of high-interest debts, given the news that over a million people regularly rely on payday loans to cover basic household bills.

Figures from Santander reveal that about one in 50 people use payday loans to cover an average of £153 per month in bills – totalling a £2 billion debt mountain over the course of a year.

A further 15% fall back on their credit cards and 17% dip into their overdrafts, while another one per cent take out loans from other types of lender.

But when it comes to more pragmatic approaches to finance – such as making sure payments are scheduled for soon after payday – only around one in four people pay enough attention to when their outgoings are actually due to go out.

“Household bills should be one of the first costs to be covered when payday arrives,” says Santander’s banking director Reza Attar-Zadeh, “but as the research highlights, this isn’t always possible.”

For those whose long-term financial situation has become untenable, insolvency advice can be a good alternative to borrowing, and may help to highlight ways in which debts can be repaid or written off in order to regain a secure financial footing.