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Loan charges: Consumers 'cautious' about taking out credit

Consumers are still being cautious about taking out credit, possibly because they fear having to pay hefty loan charges.

According to figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association, there was a seven per cent fall in the number of people being granted new credit between March 2010 and the same month this year.

The seven per cent drop was because of a decrease in new business.

Fiona Hoyle, head of consumer finance at the FLA, said: "Consumer confidence in the economy remains low. As a result, consumers are wary about spending and taking on additional financial commitments.

"Real disposable income has been hit by low wage growth; and with the rise in the cost of living, households have had to prioritise their spending even more."

She added that the FLA lent £4.8 billion to consumers in March, with many using the money for household essentials, such as furniture, clothes and electrical items.

Credit Action recently suggested that people should budget carefully in order to avoid facing bank charges.

Amir Hussain

Amir specialises in personal loans, consumer debt and debt management.

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