Store cards ‘a major contributor’ to UK consumer debt

Research from the Debt Counsellors states that more than 41 per cent of people looking for help with their repayments owe money spent on store cards.

It added that the combined value of transactions made on store, debit charge and credit cards will reach a figure of £639 billion by 2010.

John Porter, senior counsellor with the Debt Counsellors, says: “Store cards can be tempting because of free gift incentives or offers of discounts.

“It is fine to take advantage of these but the balance must be paid off immediately, otherwise excessive interest fees will be incurred.”

He added that the “best advice” might be to avoid store cards completely since store card debts can mount up quickly due to their high interest rates.

A recent poll from advice site IVA.co.uk suggested that 96 per cent of people believe the industry need to be better regulated.

It found that 55 per cent of people do not trust credit card providers, while 71 per cent thought they were unethical.

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