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Beware the catalogue debt trap, shoppers are told

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Thousands of people are spiralling into debt after ordering clothes and furniture from catalogue companies. One debt charity receives 100 calls a day from people who have fallen behind with ‘buy now, pay later’ plans. Catalogues are often used by the housebound, young mothers, or those on low incomes who want to spread costs over a year. But many purchases involve signing up to an expensive credit agreement where shoppers are charged up to 40  per cent interest — much higher than a credit card or personal loan.

And if there is a 0  per cent interest-free period, many shoppers don’t realise this can become void if they miss just one payment. Debt charity the Money Advice Trust receives more calls on catalogue debts than on mortgages, rent or payday loans. Joanna Elson, chief executive, says; ‘More people are turning to catalogues to replace broken appliances, buy clothes for growing children, or just to manage a tight monthly budget. ‘This means more people entering credit agreements at a time when money is scarce — which inevitably leads to more debt problems.’

Many people are also caught out by payment dates at catalogues. Many insist customers make a payment every 28 days, instead of on a particular day of the month. This means the due date constantly rolls back each month and people can forget to pay on time.

 

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cardsloans/article-2161878/Beware-catalogue-debt-trap-shoppers-told.html#ixzz1yWaPgDRF


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