Five Questions on: Payday lenders

What have they done now?

Money Insider: Peer-to-peer lenders come into their own as marketplace lending evolves

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Simon Read: Information is power. And it's in the wrong hands when people are cold-called by companies that know they're in debt

In debt? You're likely to be targeted by unscrupulous companies that hope to profit from your misfortune. They may try to pretend to be your friend by offering what they call "help" – but almost certainly that help will come with a cost and leave you worse off than you were before they got in touch.

Simon Read: A couple of decades late, the bankruptcy threat recedes

I'm pleased to report some good news this week for debtors. It's going to become much harder to push people into bankruptcy.

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The battle between credit card companies vying to offer the longest 0 per cent term for balance transfers shows no sign of tailing off, with the launch of yet another high-profile deal.

Simon Read: Your country needs you ... to go massively into debt

Cynicism is an important part of any journalist's outlook. I gave a talk at my son's school last month about careers and the jobs market. There were one or two other dads and former pupils doing the same.

Five questions on: Credit cards crackdown

Who's cracking down on credit cards?

Money Insider: Time to get your Christmas (credit) cards

With less than four weeks until Christmas, if you're thinking of taking out a new credit card to help ease the financial burden, you'll need to get your skates on.

Simon Read: Credit card companies are keeping you in debt with tricks like 0 per cent deals

Credit card companies have largely escaped the criticism heaped on the likes of payday lenders for fuelling Britain's debt problem. But they are just as culpable and predatory as the short-term lenders.

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