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Debt and high-cost credit

Citizens Advice is calling on the Financial Conduct Authority to make sure that consumer credit markets work well for people and don’t trap them in a spiral of debt.

Why things need to change

Citizens Advice helped more than 350,000 people with their debts last year and 3.5 million people got help with their debts on our website. Often these debt problems are a symptom of wider financial insecurity. The majority of people we help with debt problems get into financial difficulty due to a change in circumstances.

It’s always important to make sure consumer credit markets work well for people. In the context of stretched household finances, that’s more important than ever.

What we are doing

We’re calling for changes to the regulation of credit card and high-cost credit markets that would help stop people getting into a debt spiral. In particular we want the Financial Conduct Authority to:

  • Stop credit card lenders from pushing people into debt by stopping unrequested credit limit increases.

  • Protect high-cost credit customers from spiralling debts by extending similar protections to the payday loan cap to the rent-to-own and doorstep lending markets.

When people’s finances are stretched they’re more likely to need to borrow to make ends meet. Credit products should not push them into difficulty when they do.

What we’re saying