We're not all as lucky as the Meadows

Will lenders have to stop charging extortionate rates of interest on loans? This is the question many will be wondering this weekend after a judge last week wiped out a couple's £384,000 debt, which had risen from a £5,750 loan. Tony and Michelle Meadows took out the loan 15 years ago to install central heating. But the rate of interest was 34.9 per cent and they missed some repayments, which meant it racked up.

Will lenders have to stop charging extortionate rates of interest on loans? This is the question many will be wondering this weekend after a judge last week wiped out a couple's £384,000 debt, which had risen from a £5,750 loan. Tony and Michelle Meadows took out the loan 15 years ago to install central heating. But the rate of interest was 34.9 per cent and they missed some repayments, which meant it racked up.

However, while the intervention of the courts means the couple have avoided losing their home, not all of us can rely on a judge to bail us out when we get into difficulty. That's why it's important not to take on debt you can't repay. And if you have done the figures and can afford the repayments, be sure you understand how much interest you are being charged, and how it is calculated.

If you are having trouble getting credit - like the Meadows - you won't have access to the best deals. That's why they ended up paying such a high rate. But if you are in such a situation, it's worth thinking twice about whether you should be taking on more debt. Talk to the Citizens Advice Bureau if you are struggling to repay debts and think that taking out a further loan would help. Usually, amassing more debt to clear what you owe only makes matters worse.

If you haven't got credit problems, there's plenty of attractive deals around. When taking out a new credit card, opt for a 0 per cent introductory offer, preferably one that's longer than six months. Sainsbury's Bank has launched a new card offering 0 per cent on introductory purchases for 12 months, along with 0.25 per cent cashback on purchases, plus discounts.

Amazon.co.uk has entered the credit card market, offering a MasterCard with HBOS. There is 0 per cent on purchases and balance transfers for six months rather than 12, before the rate reverts to 12.9 per cent. Amazon customers earn one point for every pound they spend online, and 0.5 points for every pound spent elsewhere. But, given that you need 1,500 points to get a £15 gift voucher to use towards online purchases, it's not much to shout about.

If you prefer the structure of a loan, Halifax has extended its 6.5 per cent rate on unsecured borrowing of £7,000 or more until the end of November.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development - Telecommunications - £50,000 OTE

    £25000 per annum + £50,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Al...

    Recruitment Genius: Call Centre Agent - £22,000 OTE

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a Call Centre Agent you will...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital