Page last updated at 02:54 GMT, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Credit card debt: Your views

credit cards
The government is planning to take action on the credit card industry to help stop the temptation to get into debt.

BBC News website readers have been emailing their views and have been sharing their experiences with credit cards.

I am a single mother of two children. I have lived on my own for the past 10 years. I have five credit cards which are 'maxed out' with me owing 25,000 on those. I have also got a loan for 15,000 to try and clear these debts. I agree that the credit card companies have themselves to blame when people get into so much debt. It is an easy, and too tempting, way to borrow money to make ends meet. I am unable now to meet my repayments and am being hot pursued by all the companies. Why lend to a single mum on quite a low income 6,000 on each card in the first place?
Joanne King, Ashford, Kent

My credit card APR was 11.9% and then the card company wrote telling me the interest rate was being increased in so many weeks. The increase was a whopping 5% making my monthly interest a frightening amount. I then moved to a lower rated card. Since then I now refrain from using the card so much as no doubt that card company will raise their rates by similar amounts eventually.
George Neil, East Kilbride, Scotland

I've never been in trouble with credits cards but just last week I received a letter informing me that from the 1st May my rate was going up from 18.5% to 23.5% at a time when interest rates have hit an all time low! My payment record is impeccable yet they pull a stunt like this. It's time the government capped credit card rates and outlawed this behaviour.
Andrew Shute, Birkenhead

If the government really is truly concerned over credit card debt then let them take action regarding the exorbitant interest rates being charged. Anything over 10% APR in the current conditions is unacceptable!
John Brownfield, Brighton

My husband and I paid off a massive credit card debt and rang them to ask for the credit limit to be reduced so we didn't get into the same mess again. They refused and said it was not 'possible'. We don't particularly struggle to pay it off but would like to have the control. We receive credit card cheques regularly and offers of platinum and gold cards which I shred without a thought. They are there to make money and we forget that.
Sadie Morton, Paisley, Scotland

A credit card company once raised my limit from 3,000 to 13,000 without consulting me but I wasn't foolish or desperate enough to take the bait. If Britain owes 53bn on credit cards and there are only about 60 million people in the population, each adult must owe around a billion or so! How does that work?
Tiara, Brighton

For years we got bombarded with 0% credit card cheques & 0% APR offers. On cards where we made more than the minimum payment the credit limit would keep getting raised. We kept requesting for limits to be reduced but after a few months they'd automatically be increased again. With MBNA the minimum monthly payment on 8,000 was just 5! We never asked for credit limit increases.
Nick Carey, Portsmouth

In the past nine months the interest on my credit cards has gone from 9.7% to 26.4% and I've gone from paying them off to struggling to keep up with minimum payments. I got myself into lots of credit card debt as a student when they were throwing them at me and the rate is currently going up 1% every time the Bank of England rate goes down 0.25%. What is the government planning to do about this?
Joanne, London

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