Duncan welcomes measures to prevent debt

Castlereagh Alliance Councillor Sara Duncan has welcomed the news that some credit card companies, Abbey, Egg, Barclay, and Co-op, are to share information. The aim is to prevent their users from getting into debt.

Cllr Duncan stated: “I strongly welcome news that these leading credit card companies will check whether customers are making the minimum payment, or taking cash out, or whether they are making payments in full.

“As a volunteer in an advice agency, I deal with an ever increasing number of people who get into debt. The tendency is to use credit cards to pay off other credit cards. This in turn leads to spiralling rates of interest – the so-called ‘spiral of debt’, which they cannot ever hope to pay off.

“This move may go some way to helping with this problem. I would encourage all credit card, store card, and loan companies to consider similar moves. These help the customer and the provider, as it will help avoid cases of unpaid debts and court cases.

“It is just too easy for vulnerable people, on benefit or low income, to take up the tempting offers of credit, especially at Christmas. They do so without realising that they will be in debt for the rest of their lives. This must be seen as only the first move towards real regulation and stopping so many people going into serious debt.”

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