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Britons starting to pay off credit cards
30/09/2006

The Bank of England has just released data that shows that indebted UK consumers are paying off their credit card bills faster than ever before.

Figures for August show that 311 million more was paid off than borrowed, the most ever since records began in 1987 and the first time a fall has been recorded since 1994, in the wake of the last recession. The total amount of credit card debt in the UK has fallen to 55.4 billion.

Spending on credit cards has generally waned in popularity for some time and was overtaken by spending on debit cards in 2002. The trend for people to look for ways to reduce the costs associated with spending is forecast to continue, according to economists.

This is partly due to widespread publicity about the dangers of accumulating debt and the need to act responsibly in areas of personal finance. Other factors include the general tightening of lending criteria, and the bite effect of recent rate rises.

The report follows a report from Datamonitor earlier this week showing that Brits are the most indebted nation in Europe. The average family owes over 3,000 in unsecured debts, twice as much as their continental counterparts.

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