Consumer campaigner Martin Lewis said that because December is the month when people accrue the most debt, January is the time that people start to worry about how to tackle their problem.
Although one-to-one help is often not available until an individual has reached crisis point, there are still steps people can take to cut down their debt.
Ways of clearing debt include making more than the minimum repayments on credit cards, paying off the card with the highest interest rate first and using savings to pay off debts.
Moneysupermarket has warned that consumers who overspent on cards at Christmas and who only make minimum monthly repayments could still be paying for their shopping in 2017; in the meantime, hundreds of pounds in interest would have accumulated over the period.
Mr Lewis also said that consumers must always remember that “banks and lenders are there to make money out of you and not to make debt cheaper”.