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.

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
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

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before