Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Perils of catalogue debt

Pressure on household finances is causing thousands more people to fall into unaffordable debt with mail order catalogues, according to the debt charity, the Money Advice Trust.

National Debtline, which is run by the charity, received a record 25,000 calls about catalogue debt last year, up 10 per cent on the year and nearly double the number received in 2007 before the credit crunch.

It's had a further 7,000 calls so far this year.

Families on tight budgets have been turning to catalogues to take advantage of keen prices and offers to buy now and pay later with no interest.

Then they find they can't settle the bill.

Catalogue debt is prompting more calls for help than payday loans, mortgages or rent.

The Trust says many people don't realise they are signing a consumer credit agreement, which means the debt is enforceable in the courts.

Nor do they understand that missing a payment on a catalogue debt will usually invalidate any special zero per cent interest deal.

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