More people not paying off card debt

06 August 2004
As the UK's level of debt continues to rise new figures show the number of people who paid off their credit card in full fell by ten per cent this quarter.
With consumer debt now beyond the £1 trillion mark it would seem some people are simply borrowing more than they can manage.
Commenting on the figures, the Liberal Democrats' Shadow Chancellor, Dr Vince Cable, blamed the banks: "Today's figures clearly show that banks have been recklessly fuelling the borrowing boom and now that interest rates are on the increase we are seeing more people unable to pay their credit card bills in full."

He added: "It is particularly worrying that younger people have been finding it hard to pay off these debts."

The UK now has one of the highest levels of unsecured debt in Europe.

Dr Cable continued: "There is also evidence to suggest that some people are now using credit cards to pay for utility bills and other essential items because they cannot afford to pay for these in other ways."

He concluded by issuing a warning to all consumers to heed the signs: "Rising interest rates, falling house prices and mounting personal debt are all danger signs for the British economy. A downturn could lead to serious financial difficulty for many."
DeHavilland Information Services plc