Articles in Category: Blog

Chief Officer Sleepout - Donate

Posted in Blog

On 16th April 2018, our Chief Officer Sandy O'Neill will be spending the night sleeping rough in Fratton Park with many other Business leaders in the city to raise money for the homeless.

You can help Sandy raise money for this great cause by donating directly to her fundraising page just Click Here.  Please give as generously as you can. You can read Sandy's story via:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sandy-o-neill.
 
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Your donation can really make a difference.
JustGiving send your donation straight to CEO Sleepout and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation s worth even more.
Thank you for your support!

Armed Forces Covenant Survey

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Service Development

Citizens Advice across Hampshire are developing an advice service to support Armed Forces and thier families when facing stressful and life changing events.

We need your help and support to develop the relevant services.  Please could we ask you to complete this survey by November 3rd - it shuld not take long to complete as there are only 10 short questions.

Armed Forces Covenant Survey

Soldier Wearing Poppy and Afghanistan Medal MOD 45154706

Thank you for your support

Stephen Morgan MP Visit

Posted in Blog

We had a wonderful visit from Stephen Morgan, the Labour MP for Portsmouth South. He was greatly interested in the work we do at our Portsmouth Citizens Advice. He listened to what we all had to say and showed great interest in the organisation!

"This morning I visited Citizens Advice Portsmouth to see the tremendous work they do in our city's communities providing debt advice and helping to lift people out of poverty #fromhereforhere"

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Press Release

Posted in Blog

Credit card firms pushing people into long term debt, warns Citizens Advice

Charity publishes major new report examining consumer borrowing and long term consumer debt problems in Britain.
Major new research by Citizens Advice finds that nearly 1 in 5 people struggling with debts has had their credit card limit raised without them requesting it - a practice the charity would like to see banned.
After the Bank of England issued a warning to lenders about how they are granting credit to consumers, Citizens Advice says poor affordability checks by firms are making people’s financial situation worse.  
Consumer borrowing has risen to over £200 billion and over a third of this - £67 billion - is on credit cards.
The charity’s major new report, Stuck in Debt, reveals that people struggling with long term credit card debt were more likely to have their limit raised. 18% of struggling credit card users had their limit raised in the past year without requesting it, compared to 12% of all credit card holders.
People with credit card debts were also more likely to get into long term debt than those with personal loans and were less able to pay their debt down. Only 60% of people struggling with credit card debt were able to reduce it over two years, compared to 72% of people struggling with a personal loan - with credit card borrowers paying off £449 over two years, compared to a drop of £620 for people with personal loans.
Citizens Advice is also concerned that firms are not providing support early enough to people who despite meeting the minimum repayments are struggling with long term credit card debt.
The charity is calling for changes to protect people from falling into long term credit card debt, including:
  • Firms to be banned from raising people’s credit limits without obtaining their explicit consent to give people more protection against ever increasing debt.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority to provide clear guidance to lenders stressing that before increasing a borrower’s limit, they must check their ability to repay it.

Citizens Advice helped nearly 66,000 people with over 140,000 credit card debt problems in the last year.

One pensioner Citizens Advice helped was repeatedly called by firms offering more credit cards - despite the fact that she could only afford to make minimum repayments on her existing cards. She used the cards to meet her essential bills and ended up with a total of 21 credit cards and debts totaling £70,000.

Another man the charity helped owed £15,000 on four different credit cards, but despite only making minimum repayments on each card which just covered the interest, he was notified by all four providers that they were increasing his credit limit. He turned to Citizens Advice for help when his debts hit £30,000.  

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said:

“Irresponsible offers of further credit are pushing people into long term debt cycles.

“Citizens Advice helps thousands of people each year with credit card problems - including those struggling with large debts on several different cards that will take them years to pay off.

“It’s clear that irresponsible behaviour by some lenders is making people’s debt situation worse - such as offering more credit when they already have thousands of pounds of unpaid debt.

“The regulator must ensure that lenders are taking into account people’s whole financial and personal situation before agreeing further credit. Banning firms from raising existing customers’ credit limits without seeking their express permission first would also help people take more control over their finances.

“Lenders must act responsibly and direct people struggling with debt towards free and independent advice and support - rather than more credit.

”The FCA has announced a range of proposals to help those already in long term credit card debt - who are spending more on credit card interest charges than paying off the total amount they owe.  It says lenders should contact customers who have been in this situation for 3 years to arrange a plan to pay their outstanding balance more quickly.

Citizens Advice says lenders should be asked to intervene sooner - at the very latest after two years - to help people struggling with unaffordable debt.

What customers say

“I was very low when I came to the CAB, with debts and problems everywhere. I am now a lot happier, as I pay one sum of money each month and get left alone by creditors”.