Card firms cash in as over one in 10 customers miss repayments

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The Independent Online

Around 11 per cent of credit card holders have missed a monthly repayment in the past six months, according to a survey from comparison website MoneyExpert.com. Card firms, which charge an average of £12 for each payment missed, are estimated to have made £61m as a result.

MoneyExpert.com urges card customers 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 the site, said: "Debt worries 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 payment comes at a cost of £12 a time but there are other factors to consider. The lapse can last as long as three years on your credit file, which will be used by firms to decide whether they're going to lend you cash and at what rate."

People aged 25 to 44 and those living in London, one of the costliest cities in the world, are the most likely to default.

MoneyExpert's findings will add weight to the arguments of charities and consumer groups that the number of people with debt problems is rising due to the increased cost of borrowing and the economic slowdown.

In the previous six-month period, 9 per cent of cardholders missed a repayment.

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