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Call for age limit rise for credit cards

Debt management company, Debtmatters has called for the government to increase the age at which people can apply for credit cards from 18 to 21, in the face of rising consumer debt. Debtmatters hope that such a move would help young people think more carefully about getting into debt and what the long-term implications of spending on credit might be.According to the organisation, debt among those in their late teens is growing and research by market analyst, Mintel, puts the average debt of 18 to 34-year-olds at £3,200.Michael Shirley, from Debtmatters, said: "The relentless increase in personal debt is something that needs to be urgently tackled using a number of methods. We are living in a 'buy now, pay later' culture, one that is opposite from past generations who were encouraged to save up for something they wanted to buy."The result is that many people consider being in debt to be perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. "Unfortunately, this debt often rises until the point where it becomes uncontrollable and people feel they have to ask for professional help."Mr Shirley added: "A range of measures are needed to effectively tackle the problem, including greater education and financial management advice for school pupils and college and university students. "Hopefully this will result in a general change in attitude towards debt, but it is a process that takes time."Raising the legal age at which people have access to credit cards would provide a quick and effective solution and would buy valuable time in which to agree a sustainable long term solution to save thousands of people from spending their lives in debt."

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