Consumers are not reviewing their credit cards or loans

Consumers are not reviewing their credit cards or loans

21 June 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Almost half of credit card customers and 86 per cent of loan customers have not reviewed their balance or monthly payments in the last 12 months.

Research from Capital One has found that, despite nearly 90 per cent of UK adults claiming to be confident about the way they manage their personal finances, many are not taking simple steps to stay in control of their credit card and loan debts.

The study also discovered that more than half of consumers have not checked their credit rating, even though free credit reports are readily available online, and 21 per cent are unaware that missing a payment on a credit card, loan, or other borrowings, can damage their credit score.

Dr Roger Henderson, senior medical practitioner and stress expert, comments: “This is a classic manifestation of the ‘ostrich syndrome’, where people choose an out of sight, out of mind approach to their finances where the less you know, the less there is to worry about. Often people kid themselves they’re in good financial shape but in reality it’s a different story, which is only revealed when bigger problems occur further down the line.”

Capital One is trying to encourage consumers to be more savvy about their money, by launching a Money Made Clearer campaign, consisting of a series of short animated films which offer practical advice about money management.

Commenting on the new campaign and the findings of the research, Brian Cole, managing director of Capital One, said: "It is encouraging that consumers believe they are on top of their finances but perhaps they need more support in order to ensure they do not make avoidable mistakes. We hope that our approach, which combines animation and humour, will help more people to think about their finances and take simple positive steps to improve them."

The Capital One Classic credit card helps consumers with less than perfect credit histories to improve their credit score, by offering a higher credit limit and more competitive interest rate when cardholders prove they can keep up with monthly payments and manage their credit card responsibly.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd