Is credit card debt actually "nasty"? Well think about it for a moment, it's not a good thing is it?
The average interest rate on credit card lending in the UK is currently 16.32% – that is around 11.5% more than current base rates, but that is only the average; in reality some cards can charge a heck of a lot more.
If we take the imaginary (but not unrealistic) scenario of a person with a credit card debt of £ 3000.00 at an interest rate of 16.32%, then in order to repay the debt in one year the monthly repayments would be £ 272.65 and over the year there would be approximately the same amount to be paid in interest.
Of course, the credit card companies do not like you to pay off the bill so quickly because they do not make as much money that way. Instead they prefer high balance accounts where small payments are being made each month.
Using the same scenario of a £ 3000.00 debt at 16.32% interest the minimum payment would have been in the region of £ 45.00 per month depending on the lending company's terms and conditions. But by paying this minimum amount of £ 45.00 it would take 176 months or more than 14 and a half years to pay off the debt completely and at the end of it all the total amount paid would be in the region of £ 7920.00 – far more than double the amount owed in the first place!
So it is easy to see why the credit card companies prefer minimum payments and also how a consumer's credit card debt can soon spiral out of control. This is especially so when you realize that all it takes is a simple phone call to increase borrowing when the credit limit has been reached. Provided minimum payments have been maintained, the card companies are usually all too happy to help a consumer into even more debt.
The number of credit card holders in the UK during 2005 who repaid their outstanding balance in full each month was only 59%. That means that up to 41% of card users are paying the minimum repayment amount, and using the example above we can see that the perception potential for money lending is intense.
So it is no wonder that the credit card companies are ever eager to lend more money, and if you have credit card debt then you are not alone.
Once you acknowledge that you do indeed have a debt problem, just what are the options open to you? Being aware of problems is the beginning of understanding, and understanding is the first step in solving problems, so the most important thing is not to bury your head in the sand.
The obvious thing to do is either to spend less or to earn more. Not easy I know and it might take some creative thinking to achieve, but once it is the extra money can be used on a regular basis to repay as much as possible and get rid of nasty credit card debt once and for all.