Those seeking to be debt-free ‘should carefully assess borrowing’

Consumers should think carefully about the credit products they use when attempting to become debt free, an expert warns.

Mark Oliver, lead officer for Cambridgeshire county council trading standards, explains that some apparent solutions can actually present new problems.

His advice on becoming debt free includes a warning that loan sharks are not subject to the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act.

As such, anyone borrowing funds from an unlicensed moneylender would not be protected by the law, he says.

Mr Oliver comments: “As the credit card bills arrive, people may start to feel the effects of missed payments.

“We all sometimes end up spending far more than we ever meant to but please think carefully about who you borrow money from.”

The government’s Directgov online advice service echoes the caution to Britons attempting to clear their Christmas borrowing.

Advice on becoming debt free given by the site includes the observation that loan sharks often charge high rates of interest and may resort to violence if payments are missed.

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