Late credit card payments ‘could lead to debt woe’

Mounting charges for late credit card payments could be placing a number of consumers at risk of sliding into debt, newly-released statistics have sug…

Mounting charges for late credit card payments could be placing a number of consumers at risk of sliding into debt, newly-released statistics have suggested.

Confused.com has published figures revealing UK customers collectively waste in excess of £150 million every year on unnecessary or late payments on the items.

The investigation uncovered more than half – 57.5 per cent – of credit card holders do not have a direct debit in place to make sure they make the minimum repayment each month.

Such negligence could make them liable for late payment charges from their provider if costs are not met, the website warned.

It added these can cost more than £12 a time and noted such sums can soon escalate and get out of hand.

Just over a quarter – 26 per cent – admitted they have incurred such fines at least once in the last 12 months, while 8.5 per cent have been charged three or more times in the same period.

Alarmingly, 1.2 per cent has faced the penalty in excess of ten times in the last year – meaning they have amassed more than £100 in fees in just 52 weeks.

Despite 52 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds having a paying-in plan in place, people within this age bracket are also the most likely to skip a payment, while those over the age of 55 are the least likely to have a direct debit set up.

Alex Higgins, commercial analyst at the portal, observed such wasted cash “would be better spent elsewhere in these tough financial times”.

A recent study conducted by the Alliance Trust Research Centre discovered people between the age of 50 and 64 face the highest rate of inflation in Britain today.

By Joe Shervin

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