WE CLEARLY HAVEN’T LEARNT – UK CREDIT CARD DEBT

By on December 14th, 2015

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You’d have thought that UK consumers and lenders alike will have learnt from 2008 Global Financial Crisis. It seems not, as a nation we are still incredibly credit hungry. You cannot dispute the below figures:

  • Credit Card market is worth c£60 billion
  • Credit Card Borrowing increases by £300 million every month alone
  • 2 million Borrowers are in Credit Card arrears
  • 6 million Borrowers are only making their minimum payments every month.
  • Another 2 million borrowers are at “persistent” levels of debt and bounce balances between a number of different cards.

The Financial Conduct Authority states the Credit Card Market as a whole works well for the majority of borrowers but has recently expressed concern for the 1.6mn borrowers who are only making minimum payments to their Creditors. If you continue just to make minimum payments on your credit card the FCA predict it could take you up to ten years to pay off your Credit Card Debt.

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Credit Cards are not the only form of Consumer credit to boom recently. In October 2015 borrowing on Personal Mortgages hit £3.629bn up from £3.562bn and a rise far higher than what was forecasted. In fact this was the biggest rise in Mortgage Borrowing since April 2008 and we all know what happened then!

The Financial Policy Committee was set up following the crash and crisis of 2008 and they have told the Bank of England that whilst economic growth is typically regarded as good they need to ensure that this growth is not a debt fuelled boom. The FPC set up the Mortgage Market Review last year to ensure loose lending did not occur again but nonetheless Consumer Credit continues to rise.

For their part the Bank of England and Mark Carney has advised the Monetary Policy Committee are having to take into consideration high indebted households when making their decision over an Interest Rate Rise in the future. We have already commented the negative consequences that ultra-low interest rates have had on the economy and the longer the decision to increase is withheld these will exacerbate.

Bell & Company can assist borrowers who have high levels of unsecured personal debt such as Credit Cards and Personal Loans. We can put a debt management plan into place and in some cases attempt to negotiate a settlement. Another option is Personal Bankruptcy and we would ask you refer back to previous post on Bankruptcy but armed with the best advice.

At Bell & Company we understand and empathise with the pressures of debt. Appointing an intermediary removes emotion from the situation and can bring a focus and conclusion. To discuss any debt issue please call the team today on 02895 217373 to arrange your free initial consultation.

James Bell

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