When most people think about credit card debt, they probably only consider credit card debt which is actually a mistake in this day in age.
You can wrack up debt on cards in a number of different ways. Just think about how many people use store cards, despite the horror stories about their exorbitant interest rates that quickly bury many consumers in debt.
You can get cards to pay for almost anything these days which is very much in keeping with the buy now, pay later culture that has taken over the UK, leaving much of the nation with significant debt problems.
It's just so easy to wave a card and keep the cash both in your wallet and in your bank account. Unfortunately, this gives a false impression of how much money you actually have. A lot of consumers fall victim to spending on cards and then making large purchases that dip into their account, leaving them with no money to pick up the bills when they flood in from providers.
It's perfectly fine to have cards as long as you understand that when you use them, you're using someone else's money and that you must pay this back. If you're not responsible enough to control your usage and will never be able to resist the temptation then do not have cards at all.
Card credit debt takes only a short time to accrue but can take years of hardship to get out of. However, there are a number of great solutions to help you do this, like balance transfers, consolidation loans and repayment holidays so look into all of these.
The only way to avoid credit credit problems is to take a pro-active attitude towards your finances. As stated above, if you can not have a card without using it then do not get one. Use cash to pay for everything and keep you receive so you can sit down at the end of every week and assess your spending habits. This way you can work out where your money is going and areas you can make savings.
If you spend cash instead of using cards, you will not get a false impression of how much money you have either. You'll always know exactly where you stand and what you can and can not afford. When people buy things on credit cards they do not often think about how long it will take them to repay the money. A card can be really useful at bridging the gap between when you need something and when you can afford to buy it. So if you need something immediately and know you can pay for it at the end of the month, then go for it. After all, this is why cards were invented. But make a promise to yourself that you're going to pay for it as soon as you can. Remember though, if you can wait until you have the money it's always better to do that and far healthier for your finances.
Card credit debt is something that is only going to increase in the UK, as more companies offer more services that revolve around the idea of spending invisible money on desirable products. Make sure you're wise enough to see past the short term offers and think about the long term financial consequences.