Credit card debt landscape alters, says CCCS charity
The number of borrowers seeking help from a charity over credit card debts has fallen, but problems are starting earlier.
The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said the numbers seeking help had dropped since 2009.
But the charity said that people were now looking for advice when debts reached just over £10,000, rather than £13,000 in 2009.
Figures show that repayments on credit cards are outstripping new borrowing.
British Bankers' Association (BBA) data in recent times has shown that the interest on existing debts has pushed up the stock of credit card debt slightly.
The CCCS said that 76,368 people had sought the charity's help with credit card debt in the first half of 2012, down from 80,971 in the first half of 2011 and 85,315 in the first half of 2010.
However, the level at which credit card debt becomes problematic has dropped from £13,196 in 2009 to £10,517 this year.
"Problem credit card debt is on the decline, which may be the result of people paying down their debt, less access to this type of credit or a combination of both," said Delroy Corinaldi of the CCCS.
"Whatever the reason, while fewer people are struggling with credit card debt, lower levels of credit card debt are becoming problematic. This highlights the impact of the economic downturn on household budgets."