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Catalogue debts - read the small print

By Lucy Bower

20 June2021

Mail order catalogue Thousands of people are asking for debt help after falling behind with catalogue debts. In fact, the Money Advice Trust (MAT) claims that catalogue debt problems outnumber mortgage, rent and even the often talked-about payday loan problems.

Catalogues offer an attractive way to 'buy now, pay later'. This could explain why people are more likely to have a catalogue debt - because they're often easier to come by.

MAT is warning catalogue shoppers to read the small print before signing up to any catalogue credit. The key things to look out for are how much interest you'll pay compared with other lines of credit, and what happens if you fall behind with any payments.

Some catalogues charge 40% interest on debts, according to the Daily Mail, which is more than many credit cards and personal loans. Some catalogue companies ask for payments every 28 days instead of every month - which can cause problems. It means the payments date moves back slightly every month, so people could forget to make their payment on time.

And people who miss even one payment might find a zero interest deal is taken away.

Joanna Elson, chief executive of MAT warned shoppers on low incomes that "entering credit agreements at a time when money is scarce . inevitably leads to more debt problems."

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Tags: catalogue debts, debt, debt help, Money Advice Trust, Daily Mail

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