customers have paid out up to GBP50 million in penalty fees for missing
payments in the past six months, new MoneyExpert.com research* shows.
Up to 4.1 million monthly payments on credit cards have been missed or
paid late in the past six months, the independent financial comparison
website says. That works out at around 694,506 repayments missed a month.
And MoneyExpert.com is urging card customers who are struggling with
debts to take action now or risk further penalty fees and ultimately
damage to their credit rating.
Around nine per cent of credit card bill payments have been missed in
the past six months, MoneyExpert.com’s research shows. Credit card
firms charge GBP12 a time for missed payments after action last year by
the Office of Fair Trading to cut high penalty fees.
Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: “This is the
latest evidence of how many people are struggling to cope as
interest rates start to rise.
“Missing a credit card payment comes at a financial cost of GBP12 a
time and if you are already struggling to meet your monthly bills
that will just add to the pressure.
“And there are other costs to consider. The effect of missing one
credit card payment can last as long as three years. That is how
long the mistake will stay on your credit file and it will be used
by firms to decide whether they’re going to lend you cash and what
they’re going to charge.
“Someone with a poor credit rating will be charged more and may get
turned down when they want to borrow.
“Anyone in trouble needs to take action now because the situation
will only get worse if they bury their heads in the sand. They need
to get their debts under control and cut their spending.”
People aged 25 to 34 are the most likely to have missed credit card
bills – around 13 per cent have missed payments in the past six months.
Around 11 per cent of people in the Midlands and Wales have missed card
payments while just five per cent of Scots have done so.