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Concern as credit card debt reaches 12 year high

Tuesday, 27th March 2018

New figures reveal consumers have been piling debt on credit cards at an alarming rate not see since before the financial crisis. UK Finance say the annual growth rate for outstanding credit card debt was 8.3% in February making this the highest for 12 years.

Total credit card debt up to December 2017 was 70.1Billion* and figures show that 55.6% of credit card balances were bearing interest at the end of 2017.*Figures from The Money Charity Feb 2018.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director, Personal Finance at UK Finance said: “We are also seeing a continuing rise in credit card spending, reflecting the growing number of transactions carried out using cards, while other forms of borrowing such as overdrafts continue to fall."

Is it just consumers changing the way they pay?

It can be argued that an some consumers are using their credit card through contactless instead of a debit card if they run short of funds just before payday, or to simply accumulate extra loyalty points from the card provider.

UK Finance is the trade association formed on 1 July 2017 to represent the finance and banking industry operating in the UK. It represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services.

See UK Finance press release here

New credit card rules introduced by the FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new rules for the credit card market which it estimates the changes will save consumers between £310 million and £1.3 billion a year in lower interest charges. Details of the new rules and when they take effect can be found here (DebtWizard page) 

Help and advice for credit card debt – Five top tips

With so much credit on cards it must come of no surprise that some of us will experience problems repaying them. Redundancy, illness, separation of a relationship or even an unexpected bill can put a strain on our finances, but help is at hand if that credit card debt is getting out of control with our five top tips.

See Five top tips for credit card debt (DebtWizard page)

 

 

 

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