Managers of a credit union in Leicestershire are urging families who have ended up in debt after Christmas to seek help.
The Clockwise Credit Union is based in Leicester but opened a second branch in Melton Mowbray in June.
It offers services similar to a bank but also helps people manage debt and refers them to other places for help.
Clockwise's operations manager Teresa Manning said there were many requests for loans in the run-up to Christmas.
"We lent nearly £700,000 between November and December, and the average size of the loan would be between £400 and £600.
"We actually leant as little as £20 to somebody who really desperately needed a little bit of help just before Christmas. It was a really, really busy time for her."
Credit unions are community-owned savings and loans co-operatives controlled by their members.