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Britain Needs 'Better Education On Borrowing'

Oct 11, 2007
More Britons need to be educated when it comes to managing their money, an industry expert has claimed.

Speaking earlier this week, Chris Tapp, deputy director of Credit Action, stated that the effect of the five interest rate rises implemented by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC) since August last year is set to place further constraint on consumers' ability to manage their finances. Although he reported that the MPC increases will put pressure on their propensity to service essential demands on their finances such as mortgages and secured loans, and so cause more to begin "tightening their belts" and avoiding debt, more has to be done to get the nation to manage their money effectively.

Pointing to groups such as the British Retail Consortium indicating a fall in consumer spending on the high street, Mr Tapp asserted that the public is already putting more thought towards how they will be able to handle their finances. And despite loan lenders recently toughening applications for borrowing as a result of the recent credit crunch, the director suggested that that more work has to be done at the cause of the problem to help curb Britain's growing debt problem.

He said: "I think what we need really is people to be better educated when it comes to borrowing - better educated when it comes to managing their money - and so people understand the risks they're taking on, to not simply borrow because they're able to." It was also stated that borrowers have often taken on loans and other forms of credit "just because they're there" and have not spent enough time to consider how it will affect their finances and if they will be able to afford making repayments. Mr Tapp claimed: "I think actually if people were better educated as to the risks and people were able to manage their money more carefully than they do now then that would go a long way to helping people stay more in control and I think that would be more effective than further regulation."

In addition, he asserted that the government needs to do more to implement personal finance, which may include areas such as budgeting and getting a low-cost loan, into the education system to help young people adopt a more responsible attitude towards borrowing as they get older. He suggested that this was particularly prevalent for those attending university as upon completing higher education consumers are often deep into the red which in turn leaves them to struggle with loans, credit cards and other forms of borrowing. Such people often have difficulties because "they've been educated into debt but not about debt".

Meanwhile, he claimed that the recent tightening in the financial sector - which has seen loan lenders apply more stringent checks on prospective borrower's applications - could force consumers take the time to think about their ability to handle their finances. "If the credit crunch helps people to wake up and really think seriously about how they are managing their money and how they are managing their borrowing then that would be a good thing. I wouldn't say that would make the credit crunch a good thing [in itself] but there could be good things to come out of it," he asserted. Mr Tapp also announced that "a lot of people" over the next 12 months may begin to struggle with their finances, which could well include areas such as paying off loans and credit cards.

As a result, those concerned about the state of their money management may wish to take out a low-rate loan as a means of paying off debts owed to various creditors and so free up more disposable income each month. Earlier this year, research carried out by Lloyds TSB revealed that organising their finances is the goal adults most wish to achieve this autumn, which could incorporate being in a more comfortable position to service secured loan debt.
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Mark Dawson writes for the the Loan Arrangers where you can apply online for low rate loans, you can also compare loans online, bad credit loans applications welcome.
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