Citizens Advice helps with 14,000 credit card debt problems a month making it the second most common debt issue people seek advice on, the charity has revealed today.
The new figure is released as the Financial Conduct Authority announces the terms of reference for its study into the credit card market. The national charity is calling on the FCA to make sure the market is working for consumers and that lenders behave responsibly when collecting debts.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice , said:
“Credit cards can leave people dependent on debt. Borrowers who only pay off the minimum amount can find themselves in a never-ending cycle of borrowing which means their debt only gets bigger. Evidence from Citizens Advice has found some people go onto face harsh debt collection practices, like the threat of bankruptcy, from their card providers.
“Paying for items using a credit card can help people manage unexpected expenses and provides extra protection if something goes wrong. But sometimes people find they can’t keep up with repayments. Citizens Advice helps with 14,000 credit card problems a month, making it is the second most common debt issue we deal with. For people who seek help from us about serious debt problems, the average credit card debt is £6,000.
“With millions of pounds borrowed on credit cards each year this review by the FCA is important to make sure the market works for consumers and lenders are behaving responsibly when it comes to debt collection. The regulator needs to look at whether the checks for credit card applications are rigorous and don’t allow people to borrow money they can’t afford to repay.”