The Period of Easy Credit is Well and Truly Over

By: Adam Singleton

Debt solutions such as switching credit card balances are becoming harder to obtain thanks to the impact of the credit crunch in the UK.

When credit was freely available it was fairly easy to transfer significant credit card balances to new interest free deals, or to take out a secured loan against the equity in a home. However, now that banks and building societies have resorted to closing the door after the horse has bolted, and started to enforce extremely rigid lending criteria, many people are finding that they are now getting turned down for credit.

Even those with average and good credit scores are being refused further loans as prospective lenders tally up the applicant's outstanding balances and decide that it would be irresponsible to lend any further funds. This hard line by lenders and credit card companies is now forcing many more people to seek professional debt advice as they stare into the abyss of financial ruin. In the long run it could also add to a record number of defaulting payers.

And those with a tarnished credit history should forget trying to get any form of credit altogether, say many experts. As people become more desperate and submit more applications their credit score will be tarnished even further as each credit search will leave an imprint upon their credit history.

As a result many debt experts are predicting a huge rise in the number of UK residents seeking debt management advice and they fear that many will ultimately be forced to enter into either into an IVA or even consider bankruptcy.

In addition to the catastrophic impact of the credit crunch, householders are facing much higher mortgage repayments and domestic bills. Energy costs in particular have risen way past the rate of inflation and council tax payments are also expected to be excessive, as central government payments to local councils continue to drop. All of these factors have left people with significantly less disposable income with which to pay credit cards and other bills, and those who were comfortable at this time last year are now struggling to make ends meet.

Many more UK residents are heading to Citizens Advice Bureaux as they desperately seek ways of staying afloat under increasing financial pressure. For many, 2008 has begun with the spectre of debt hanging over them, and there is no doubt that debt management companies will be busy handling enquires for the foreseeable future.

Credit Matters
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