Fewer people in Cheshire applied for credit last quarter with a decrease from 14 per cent to 9 per cent according to accountant PwC’s latest report on the consumer credit industry.

However, the PwC analysis of official data reveals that 11 per cent in the region are still having to use credit to pay for essential items such as food and bills.

The report which was consistent across Cheshire and the North West also found that while the North West had the highest percentage of consumers able to make repayments on all outstanding credit (39%), over a quarter (21%) were still worried about their ability to make future repayments.

Favourite routes of borrowing were credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts. However, newer forms of borrowing are increasing in popularity, particularly online payday lenders.

The PwC survey was based on a sample of 2,000 people.