Avoid credit card charges by clearing card debt

Instead, The Debt Counsellors are urging credit card holders to strive towards eliminating credit card debt altogether to avoid any such charges.

John Porter, a senior counsellor with The Debt Counsellors, commented: “Credit card debt is costing too many people too much in the form of interest and penalty charges.

“However, there are plenty of options available to deal with the problem. Anyone worried about the cost of their plastic should get professional advice on how to eliminate credit card debt.”

Such advice is prompted by the fact that credit card providers are likely to increase interest rates in order to compensate for lost revenue from charges, a move that Barclaycard has already taken.

ClearDebt marketing director, Andrew Smith, urged people to use the ‘snowballing’ technique to pay off credit card debt as fast as possible.

He said: “If you are still only a little way down the debt track and can still pay your bills when they fall due, then stop using your cards and put all the money you can afford into repaying your most expensive card or loan first. Then move onto the next most expensive, and so on. This can slash months off the time needed to repay your debt.

“Of course, you must keep making the minimum payments on all your cards and loans, and you must keep an eye on changing interest rates too.”

According to the latest Bank of England figures, credit card lending increased by £0.4 billion in April alone.