UK Credit Card Spending Continues to Increase

by : Elisha Burberry

Everyone knows that spending on credit cards is easy and that fact has recently been reflected by UK consumers. Reports from payments firm Apacs show that in the second quarter of 2007, the amount spent on credit cards was seven percent higher from figures last year, suggesting that Brits are overspending and taking risks they probably shouldn't.

This is despite the fact that debit cards, which take money directly from a person's bank account, have become so much more popular. The evidence suggests that people don't mind borrowing large amounts of money they do not have and are not fussed with the rising rates of interest on credit card payments tacked on to paying back balances.

Mark Allen of UK based chartered accountants commented, "It's not uncommon these days to see some individuals with unsecured debt upwards of ?50,000 spread across four or five credit cards and a mortgage on top of that."

Debts like these are likely making up most of the total consumer debt of the UK, recently reported at ?1.345 trillion. Saving levels are likely to be very low considering the overall level of debt faced in the UK at the moment.

If you have found yourself in similar dire straits, using many cards with balances that you are already paying high interest on, there is still hope for you yet. First, fight the urge to declare bankruptcy. Although it may sound like an easy way out, it is nothing but and will stay with you by making a black mark on your credit score that could last up to 15 years.

Despite how you may feel, credit cards are not the enemy, they can actually help to sort out your debt through consolidation, and lowering your interest payments. Many credit card companies offer new cards with 0% interest introductory rates on balance transfers
. By transferring the balances from all your cards to one, you not only pay less interest on the balance but can also simplify all of your credit card bills by combining them into one payment.

When considering balance transfers, don't forget to read the fine print. The 0% introductory rates advertised will not last forever so take note of the duration. Also take into account the balance transfer fee and the credit card charges. A small charge can be offset by a longer 0% rate, so it pays to do the math.