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Breathing space for Credit Card customers

Breathing space for Credit Card customers

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 25/06/2009
First Published: 14/01/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Holders of credit cards who have had difficulties paying off their credit card bill have been given breathing space by changes made by card companies and the government.

Credit Card holders will be given at least 30 days grace while they arrange a debt repayment plan, within this time credit card firms cannot chase payment. This plan can be agreed with a 'free debt advice' agency, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. If a debt management plan has not been agreed within this time, a further 30 day 'collection free' period will be applied.

These new industry standards also mean that the credit card company will need to communicate any interest rate change at least 30 days in advance. Furthermore no rate increase can be applied within the first 12 months of taking out the card and rates can only be reviewed on a 6 month basis after that.

These new steps give more power to the credit card holder, they can choose whether they would like to close their account within this time or take the option of transferring the balance to a personal loan with either the same or a lower rate than that of the card.

Disclaimer: 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 Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.