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Consumer credit an 'important social enabler'

03 July 2007
With four interest rate increases since August last year, the market for consumer credit is declining, an industry expert suggests.

However, Helen Saxon, spokesperson for the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), insisted that consumer credit still an 'important social enabler', allowing less wealthy people access to goods and services they couldn't afford to buy upfront.

Ms Saxon said that less is being spent on credit cards and personal loans and suggested consumers were putting more money towards their mortgages.

Despite those facts, however, she maintained that credit was a financial necessity for some people.

"Credit does enable people to buy things that otherwise they couldn't afford or that they would have to save up for a long time for," she commented.

"So we have seen credit available to more and more people as time has gone on – and we have seen consumer spending pretty much propping up the economy. It is a good thing as long as it is used sensibly."

She went on to say that credit is a "leveller for society" and suggested the industry must do everything possible to stop people getting into unmanageable debt.

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