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Credit card interest should be capped, MP says

Helen Knapman
Senior News Reporter
28 November 2012

A cap should be placed on the amount of interest credit card users in debt should have to pay, an MP has argued in the House of Commons.

Labour MP Yvonne Fovargue says the move would help stop cardholders' money problems spiralling out of control.

She wants interest to stop once a user has paid interest equivalent to three times the amount borrowed.

At that point, all further repayments should go towards reducing the original amount borrowed, she adds.

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Fovargue introduced the idea in a 10-minute rule motion in the House of Commons yesterday and says the plan has drawn cross-party support.

However, 10 minute rule motions rarely become law. While Fovargue wants it to become law, she says the main aim of her motion is to highlight that credit cards can get people into serious debt.

Forvargue says: "People may have once used credit cards for luxury or exceptional purchases, but many are now using them simply to make ends meet and what is more committing to further credit card borrowing when one card is 'maxed out', in order to plug the gap in household finances.

"The result of using one credit card to pay off another is a vicious cycle of increasing debt, as interest and other charges are added to the initial sum. This can lead to despair as the balance hardly reduces over time."

Meanwhile, a vote will be held in the House of Lords today which could go a step towards capping payday lenders' charges.

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