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Record sum spent on credit and debit cards last year

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by Kay Mitchell

Credit and debit card spending increased to £91.5 billion, an increase of £4.9 million in the 3 months to last September as a growing number of borrowers used their cards to pay household expenses.

Chris Tapp, of the debt charity, Credit Action, said retail figures were down over Christmas but credit card debt is still on the increase indicating that people are shifting spending on to credit cards as household expenses rise.

Mr Tapp added that this is bad news, people using their credit cards to meet their monthly bills is the first sign of a spiral of debt trouble. Those doing this should seek help immediately, added Mr Tapp.

Apacs, the body that represents lenders and credit card companies, said between October and December last year, £32.4 billion was spent on credit cards – the second-highest sum in history.

Over the same period, £59 billion was spent through debit cards – the highest since their records began in 2000.

Apacs added that cheques are declining in popularity with the number of cheques used in 2007 falling by 9% to 1.6 billion. This was the fastest rate of decline recorded since cheque use started falling in 1991.

Last year, an increasing amount of retailers stopped accepting them with Tesco and Marks and Spencer about to phase them out.

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News posted: February 15, 2008

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