MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Sometimes Jennifer Bradshaw dreams of a job in finance, and last year she thought about going back to school to become a nurse. She would do anything, she said, that would give her the chance to get ahead — and to meet the bills that seem to weigh more heavily on her family every month.

As it is, she works 16 hours a week in a clerical job at a local supermarket, and her earnings go to paying off loans she and her fiancé are carrying. She would love to go full time, working days instead of evenings and getting a handle on their spiraling debt.

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