More than 5 million people have missed monthly credit card payments in the past six months, according to research from MoneyExpert – a two per cent increase on the previous six months.
And with credit card companies
charging around £12 a time for a missed payment, it is estimated that they have made around £61million, an increase of £11million from the January - June 2007 period.
According to MoneyExpert, the number of people missing a payment has risen by 920,000, from nearly 4.2million in the first half of 2007 to nearly 5.1 million for the second half of the year.
As the credit crunch hits harder, with rising interest rates, petrol prices and energy bills, people are really starting to feel the pinch and MoneyExpert is urging those who are struggling with debts to take action now, "or risk further penalty fees and, ultimately, damage to their credit rating".
Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, says that debt problems
have "shot up the agenda as people start to count the cost of the UK’s borrowing spree over the past few years."
"Missing a credit card payment comes at a financial cost of £12 a time but there are other factors to consider," Gardner continues.
"The effect of a payment can last as long as three years on your credit file and it will be used by firms to decide whether they’re going to lend you cash and what they’re going to charge.
"As lending criteria gets tougher that will cost you. Anyone in trouble needs to take action now because the situation will only get worse if they bury their heads in the sand. They need to get their debts under control and cut their spending."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd