A GROWING number of families are facing financial ruin because of a carefree attitude to debt, says a Government watchdog.
The Financial Services Authority issued a stark warning that Britain's "live for today" attitude had meant many people had become complacent about the size of their debts.
As a result, few were in a position to tighten their belts if the economy makes even a modest downturn.
A million adults are now regularly falling behind with payments on bills and credit cards, the FSA said.
Another 2m are "constantly struggling" to make ends meet.
Three interest rate rises in six months and soaring utility bills and taxes could leave even more people teetering on the brink.
The FSA said lenders, as well and consumers, must act more responsibly.
It said: "Firms could experience significant reputational damage if they were seen in retro- spect to have given credit to large numbers of consumers who could not afford it."