UK credit card customers have paid around £50million in penalty fees as a result of missed credit card payments, according to the latest research from MoneyExpert.
Around 4.1million payments have been either missed completely or paid late in the past 6 months, which is just under 700,000 each month and works out as nine per cent of all payments.
Although the OFT’s ruling about unfair bank charges means that banks can no longer charge extortionate fees for a missed payment, the charge is still £12 a time.
Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: “This is the latest evidence of how many people are struggling to cope as interest rates start to rise.
“Missing a credit card payment comes at a financial cost of £12 a time and if you are already struggling to meet your monthly bills that will just add to the pressure.”
The study shows that young people - those aged between 25 and 34 - are the most likely to have miss paying their credit card bills; around 13 per cent have missed payments in the past six months.
Mr Gardner warns that having a penalty charge not only affects your finances at the time, but can also lead to credit problems in the future.
“The effect of missing one credit card payment can last as long as three years,” he said, “that is how long the mistake will stay 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.
“Someone with a poor credit rating will be charged more and may get turned down when they want to borrow.
“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.”
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