Blackpool women are the most likely to find themselves in serious debt problems, according to a study by insolvency body R3.
It said the number of personal insolvencies in the region rose for the second year running last year, with women being more likely than men.
Based on government figures, it showed women in the 25-34 age group had the highest rate of any group in the region.
In total, there were over 13,800 personal insolvency cases in the North West in 2017.
Blackpool had the highest rate in the region (38.1 per 10,000 population), followed by Halton, Sefton and Burnley, with Preston seventh at 28.7.
Allan Cadman (inset), North West deputy chairman of R3 and a partner at partner at Poppleton and Appleby, said: “Women are much more likely than men to work part-time, and in sectors and roles with lower pay.”
Mike Barry, chief executive of Blackpool and Preston’s credit union Clevr Money, said: “It’s not surprising that towns like Blackpool, with notoriously high deprivation, high poverty and low income rates, come top of the list for insolvency, with people struggling for years through austerity, public sector wage caps and benefit caps trying to make ends meet.
“Many of our members are lone parents trying to balance their budget, to save and to borrow at affordable rates, and we have seen their budgets tightening as prices rise and incomes don’t.
“I also worry about those who don’t know where to get free, independent advice and end up being targeted by commercial companies selling inappropriate debt and insolvency solutions which they don’t properly understand and may not be their best option.
“I would implore people to remember they have a Credit Union here on their doorstep which provides fair and affordable loans.”