People are spending less money but still struggling to meet payments and renters are the worst hit.
According to research from debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) renters have been the most adversely affected group during the economic downturn.
The CCCS figures from last year show that the number of people contacting the charity who live in rented properties increased to 55 per cent.
This was up from 51 per cent in 2009 when the global financial crisis was in full effect.
CCCS said with rent levels near record highs, rent arrears are also on the increase.
There were 10,246 renters who contacted the charity last year who were in arrears.
This figure has risen by 30 per cent in the past three years.
According to CCCS renters in arrears to private landlords were in a worst position than their companions.
On average those in the private sector owed about £924 in unpaid rent while those in housing association properties owed about £705 and local authority tenants owed £622.
"The yearbook shows that unmanageable debt is rising in all parts of society,” consumer affairs minister Norman Lamb said.
“It reminds us how vitally important it is to understand the needs of those who seek help, so that we can give them the right kind of help.”
With rental prices on the rise and salaries at a standstill these figures are only forecast to increase.