Christmas borrowing could soar with 'sub-prime' credit like Argos' 222.7% APR, warns uSwitch.com

28 October 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Christmas spending could hit new highs this year as Brits turn to adverse credit like Argos's Easy Shop Card with a 222.7 per cent APR, uSwitch.com has warned.

According to uSwitch.com, Argos has launched the card, which is provided by provident Personal Credit, to allow cash strapped Brits to spread the cost of Christmas. However, borrowing £500 over six months will lead to paying £175 in interest.

Provident Personal Credit also provides 'sub-prime' gift vouchers which also carry an interest rate of 222.7 per cent APR and can be used in a number of high street stores including Woolworths and Topshop.

Commenting on the 'sub-prime' credit, Louise Bond, personal finance manager at uSwitch.com said: "Despite being attached to well known and trusted high street brands, people shouldn't be fooled into thinking these deals are anything other than sub-prime loans with inflated APRs.

"It seems they really are just cashing in on desperate customers who need relatively small amounts of money quickly. These vulnerable customers may not care how much they have to pay back as they are just focused on getting through the Christmas period."

But it is not just Argos and Provident Personal Credit that is offering 'sub-prime' credit. According to Moneynet.co.uk's Andrew Hagger, 'shockingly expensive' borrowing options could be all that is left open to the credit history challenged.

Pay day loans, log book loans and credit card cheques are just three of the five 'sub-prime' lending options offering 'lethal' rates warns Mr Hagger.

"As the global financial crisis deepens and borrowing options continue to dry up, the temptation to grab at anything to ease cashflow problems is understandable, but the exorbitant interest rates involved will only lead to deeper debt."

There are still plenty of good credit card deals available:



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