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Credit card debts can quickly spiral out of control, warns Citizens Advice

3 November 2015

Citizens Advice has responded to a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report today outlining the extent of credit card debt in Britain.

More than 1.6million people can only afford to make the minimum payments on their credit cards, leaving them racking up interest payments and struggling to get out of debt.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Credit card debts can quickly spiral out of control.

“Borrowers who only pay off the minimum amount or fall behind can soon find themselves trapped in a cycles of debts. The FCA is right to say consumers need more control over credit limits and to encourage consumers to pay off debt quicker when they can afford to.

“Mainstream debt problems, from credit cards to formal loans, only tell part of the story. We are seeing increasing numbers of people come to us struggling with priority debts, like council tax and rent arrears.

“It’s absolutely essential the Government ensures people can access independent advice and support on how to manage their finances and prevent problems arising in the first place.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.