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Credit card companies sneak in higher rates

Under cover of the EU payment services directive, which will come into play on the 1st November, a whole host of UK credit card companies would appear to have sneaked in a number of interest rate rises. Under the payment services directive, credit card and debit card companies have been ordered to simplify their terms and conditions and sent out very thick documents to their customers to review.

However, a number of customers may well have missed a number of increases in interest rates which have not necessarily been highlighted as strongly as they could have been. Both cash advance interest rates and general credit card interest rates have been increased by a number of companies with First Direct and M&S the latest to join the party. So a directive from the EU which was introduced to assist UK credit card holders has effectively backfired and given many companies a "backdoor" way to introduce increased credit card rates.

This comes at a time when UK consumers are attempting to pay down as much of their credit card debt as possible although many are suffering from employment issues and reduced income. Quite how an increase in interest charges will assist customers and credit card companies alike is a mystery because effectively many of those who are struggling will be "pushed over the edge".

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