Credit card use and borrowing are becoming a way of life for many in the UK, but there are ways to mitigate the financial consequences, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has stressed.
Only four to eight per cent of people who take out credit later find themselves in financial distress, CCCS spokesperson Frances Walker emphasised.
Around half of the people who go to the CCCS for counselling find themselves in trouble after an unexpected change of circumstances which upsets their financial forecasts, such as a death, divorce or unemployment.
Nevertheless, the consequences of debt can be acute, taking an emotional toll on the individuals and families involved, Ms Walker warned.
"People have got to learn how to use credit properly," she urged, adding: "Credit is obviously here to stay."
Nevertheless, consumers have begun to curb their borrowing habits, she conceded, while lenders, too, have become more responsible under pressure from successive Treasury select committees.
Nevertheless, more people must make sure they repay more than the minimum amount required each month, she urged.
In a separate report, Moneyfacts.co.uk this week warned that many credit card providers may still be charging customers excessive monthly or annual fees.
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