Consumers are adding to credit card debt by using this form of finance to pay for everyday items, according to a Post Office report.
An eight per cent increase on the level recorded in January 2009 means more than 12 million adults in the UK are using credit for purchases such as groceries, the study showed.
Head of lending Az Alibhai described this trend as concerning, highlighting the effect that mounting interest charges can have.
“Whilst the recession has left many with no choice, these debts build up quickly if not paid off in full each month and can be extremely costly over time,” he said.
Other findings from the research included the fact that 11 per cent of card holders expect to spend more on them this year.
This week, the UK Cards Association submitted proposals designed to help credit card customers control their debt, with unsolicited increases of limits among the aspects reviewed.
By Andy Mackay