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People 'Struggling With Credit Card Costs'

Feb 4, 2008
Rising numbers of people are struggling with meeting the various demands on their finances, new research shows.

A study carried out by MoneyExpert showed that, in the six-month period ending December 21st, more than five million Britons missed a monthly payment on their credit card. Overall, over one in ten (11 per cent) of all cardholders were revealed to have not been able to meet this financial commitment - a rise from the nine per cent (4.16 million) who failed to do so in the six months leading up to June 4th. As such, the number of people who have not made a payment, for whatever reason, increased by about 920,000 in the last six months of 2007.

With thousands more consumers unable to pay off their credit cards, it is possible they could struggle to meet other demands on their spending such as utility bills, mortgage payments and personal loans.

Findings from the financial comparison website also revealed that those Britons between the ages of 25 and 44 are the most likely to have missed a demand for repayment on a credit card. About 15 per cent of people within this age bracket have not paid a bill during the last six months. Meanwhile, around one in six (15 per cent) Londoners have skipped a credit card bill, with this proportion falling to nine per cent for people from the north of England.

Commenting on the figures, Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert, said: "Debt worries have shot up the agenda as people start to count the cost of the UK's borrowing spree over the past few years. With even the Church of England offering debt advice from the pulpit under its Matter of Life and Debt campaign it's clear that many people are living on a prayer and hoping for interest rate cuts to get them out of trouble."

He went on to claim that although missing a payment on a card will incur a charge of 12 pounds, there could be further negative financial implications for borrowers. Reporting that the effect of not making a repayment can remain on a credit report for up to three years, the chief executive stated that lenders will factor this in when deciding whether to grant applications for a loan or other type of borrowing and what rates of interest will be charged. "As lending criteria gets tougher that will cost you," Mr Gardner stated.

Those who find that they regularly struggle to pay back their credit card bills could discover that their ability to successfully apply for a cheap loan or other form of competitively-priced credit is curtailed in months and years to come.

People worried about their capacity to meet card repayments and other sources of financial demand over the course of this year may wish to apply for a low-cost loan. In taking out this type of loan for debt consolidation purposes, borrowers can merge a number of demands on their spending into a single affordable monthly repayment. This might be of assistance to a rising number of people as Frances Walker, spokesperson for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, recently claimed that the first few weeks of the year are a perfect time for people to sort out their finances. She claimed that many homeowners could soon see their mortgage payments rise as their fixed-rate deals expire, with utility bills also set to increase.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for the Loan Arrangers. Where visitors can compare loans online, and apply for the best rate UK secured loans and the cheapest debt consolidation loans available to them.
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