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Last Updated: Friday, 9 April 2004, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Have your say: Credit mailshots
Money Box discovered that a nine-year-old was offered a credit card, even though it is against the law for children to have them.

We asked for your comments. This debate is now closed.

I think something should be done about this irresponsible junk mail. Only last week my cat received a credit card offer. I am not sure what she would use it for, a years supply of cat food maybe.

I was tempted to fill it in and sign it with her paw print. This sort of irresponsible mailing should be better regulated.
Lena Botwright

I usually pay my card in full each month and I get plenty of offers through the post.

When I spot an offer with 0% introductory balance transfer rate I subscribe but keep using the old card. Every month I pay the old card back in full with balance transfers to the new card.

The pleasure of exploiting the system is priceless

In the meantime, I put what I would otherwise pay in a high rate savings account.

When the introductory rate is over, I either transfer the balance to yet another introductory offer (if available) or pay it back using the savings.

The icing on the cake is that the card I use for purchases also gives me 0.5% cashback.

Even though I won't get rich, the pleasure of exploiting the system is priceless.

My trips to the paper recycling station now have to be made three times a week due to a plethora of unwanted catalogues, mail shots, and so on.
Mary Shelton-Smith

It was an innocent mistake at the end of a chain of events started by the child's father not ticking a box on a form he filled out in her name.

It is not as if the child could have been issued with a credit card.
Mark Itzcovitz

I do not have any issues whatsoever with the amount of credit offers coming through my door.

Surely this is down to incorrect computer data rather than an overly ambitious credit card company?
Paul Lockett

Too often, people are very quick to blame banks and credit card companies for inviting people to apply for products.

I believe people are capable of deciding for themselves whether to apply for additional credit, and of controlling their own finances.

Not all debt is bad. It is only bad when it starts to spiral out of control as a result of people's inability to control their own spending. Governments borrow, companies borrow, so why shouldn't we?

It is true to say that children should not be offered credit cards, but surely, this is down to incorrect computer data rather than an overly ambitious credit card company?
Paul Lockett

Why is the government not stopping the purchase of names and addresses lists?

Surely this is personal information that is passed between companies and in contravention of the Data Protection Act?
David Brown

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

Money Box



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