Tuesday 5 January 2010

Christmas Debt Hangover?

If so, Citizens Advice may ease the pain.

There's now a code of conduct agreed by all credit card companies. If you've got problems paying back money and you seek advice from an independent debt advice agency such as a Citizens Advice Bureau, they will hold off collecting the debt for 30 days. They'll accept a further 30-day period if a repayment plan has not yet been agreed, but you're still taking advice from the agency and a repayment plan is expected to be agreed.

They will also give customers at least 30 days' notice of any increase in interest rates and allow customers who then cancel their cards a reasonable period to repay the balance that they owe.

Finally, they will not raise their main interest rate for 12 months after you have signed up for a card. After that, they will raise rates only once in every six months.

If they fail to keep to the code you should complain to the company involved. If they can’t or won’t address the problem you should seek advice. For more information about tackling debt problems, contact Thame and District CAB on 01844 217186 or e mail thamecab@cabnet.org.uk.