Watch for 20 per cent warning sign, says debt agency

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has issued advice to consumers who might be heading to the January sales following a heavy Christmas spend.

It says that there are certain warning signs people should watch out for, which might indicate that they are entering debt.

James Ketchell, spokesperson for the CCCS, says that people should work out what percentage of their earnings are going where.

He adds: “The main warning signs are if you find that 20 percent of your outgoings are paid to credit, excluding your mortgage.

“If you do find yourself in that position then you are possibly becoming overstretched and you will need help from an organisation such as the CCCS.”

Mr Ketchell continues that people who are worried about debt are advised to pay off store cards first, since these tend to have higher rates of interest than normal credit cards.

Store cards from Argos and British Home Stores currently have interest rates of 29 per cent, which is about six-times the headline rate.

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