People ‘should challenge credit card companies’

Consumers should question any credit card rate increases they are subjected to by lenders, one consumer body has suggested.

Senior researcher at charity Which? Martyn Saville stated that customers can ask to cancel a card if their credit card company decides to hike the rate and pay the debt back on at the previous level of interest.

“Ask them for an explanation, actually challenge it. If they can’t justify it ask them to put it back down to the usual rate,” he said.

Mr Saville also recommended using credit card unions as a “good option” for those who are unable to obtain financial support through the usual channels.

He added that the lack of available loans may mean people have no option but to pay higher charges until the property market recovers or credit becomes more accessible.

According to the Bank of England, total net lending to individuals increased to £1.3 billion in April.

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