A new report on UK credit card users reveals that debt is being paid off more slowly by consumers than at any point in the last two years. In an even more concerning sign, more British credit card holders are using their credit cards to get cash advances than at any time in the same period.
These damning statistics come from FICO, whose report covers ‘classic’ credit card accounts established in the last five years. This category of card does not include premium cards, student cards and credit cards issued in Ireland.
FICO’s vice president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Mike Gordon says:
“The combination of flat spending on classic cards with lower payment percentages and higher cash usage indicates increasing strain on consumers’ wallets.”
As the Eurozone continues to limp along unconvincingly and youth unemployment in the UK hits new highs each month, it’s hardly surprising people are borrowing faster and repaying more slowly.
The grim news doesn’t stop there: the latest figures from the Bank of England reveal people in the UK collectively owed 56.9 billion on their credit cards in September 2011. In all, Britain is shouldering 208.6 billion of unsecured debt – that means credit card borrowing makes up nearly 30% of all debt that isn’t secured on property.
And to top things off, shameless bigots like this inhabit the country (NSFW):
… though admittedly that’s an unrelated issue.