Credit Card Debt a Major Factor in Serious Debt Cases

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Credit card debt is the biggest contributor to serious debt problems in the UK, according to The Debt Counsellors Annual UK Debt Survey 2006.

Many people fool themselves into thinking they are dealing with their credit card debt by paying the minimum amount each month but the added interest simply negates these payments.

The Debt Counsellors Annual UK Debt Survey 2006 has revealed credit card debt to be the biggest contributory factor towards serious debt in the UK.

According to the survey, more than 91% of people seeking help for their debt problems owe money on credit cards. Store cards also take the blame, contributing to 41% of serious debt cases.

Credit Action reports that total credit card debt in the UK stood at £55.4 billion in August 2006, and according to the British Bankers Association the proportion of credit card balances bearing interest in July 2006 was 74.6%.

John Porter, senior counsellor with the Debt Counsellors, believes too many consumers are using their credit cards in the wrong way and allowing credit card debt to rise unchecked.

He said: "There's no doubt that credit cards can be useful to make purchases, especially with the advent of online shopping. However, too many people use them to supplement their income or spend beyond their means.

"Many people fool themselves into thinking they are dealing with their credit card debt by paying the minimum amount each month but the added interest simply negates these payments."

However, Porter adds that there are methods that can be employed that will prevent credit card debt getting out of control: "There's no doubt that paying off the balance every month is the best way to ensure the interest won't run up the credit card debt.

"But also, keeping any eye on the market for the best interest rates will help, switching cards as and when necessary. But the details and small print should always be examined carefully."

For more advice on credit card debt and dealing with serious debt problems, visit http://www.debtcounsellors.co.uk

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MARK NUNNEY
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