Falling into debt is never a fun experience, but it can only get worse if you try to ignore it or refuse to seek help. Despite the benefits that can come from seeking assistance, however, 52% of Brits feel there is a stigma attached to asking their credit card provider to help them.
This is according to a recent survey conducted by Echo Managed Services, which further found that among those reluctant to talk to their card provider, 59% attributed the stigma to societal stereotyping and their own feelings of shame or embarrassment. Another 36% blamed their reluctance on the way in which their provider operates, while the remaining 5% pointed to both factors.
Worryingly, only 25% of customers felt valued when going through the debt recovery process with their provider, with 60% not feeling valued and reports of some advisers making assumptions about why a customer had fallen into debt or being overly aggressive. This just goes to show that great customer service can be just as important as a good interest rate when deciding on a credit card provider.
"Debt affects a huge cross-section of people, for many different reasons, so it's crucial that credit card providers work hard to understand the issues of every single individual and help them to find a balanced resolution," Monica Mackintosh, customer services director at Echo Managed Services, said. Of course, we'd all much prefer avoiding debt altogether. To do so, it could help to get a credit card that has a long introductory interest-free offer on purchases or balance transfers, whichever you may need. Some cards even come with 0% interest on both for some time.
If you are thinking of transferring your current card debt onto a 0% balance transfer card, make sure to look at the fees attached to transfers as well as the term – if you're not going to need 36 months to pay back the debt, you may be better off with a card that offers a shorter introductory term in exchange for a low or no transfer fee. Simply click on 'Balance transfer fee' on our 0% balance transfer card chart to order the top deals and see the cards with the lowest fee (which still come with a pretty long term) first.
For those who are struggling with debt and not sure where to turn, our 12 steps to become debt-free might help, and remember that you can always turn to a debt charity. You don't have to suffer debt on your own.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.