Martin Lewis says new FCA credit card rules are a good move but could have “perverse consequences”

On the new credit card rules announced today by the Financial Conduct Authority, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said:

“Credit card minimum repayments are dangerous – as the repayment drops with what you owe, keeping you in debt for decades.With £3,000 debt at 17.9% interest it can take 27 years to repay, yet if you fixed your repayments at £70, the minimum level for month one, you’d clear it 22 years sooner, saving £2,400 in interest.

“That’s why the FCA’s move to make card companies intervene on long term debt is in general a good one.However there is once concern here.Those who have multiple credit card debts should always focus on clearing the one with the highest rate first, and only making minimum repayments on the others. This way you get rid of the one that’s most expensive and accruing the highest interest.So if credit card firms push those doing this to repay more on their card, taking repayments away from even worse deals, it could have perverse consequences.The FCA must ensure card firms look at the entirety of someone’s debts, not just their own.”

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About Martin Lewis:Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is the journalist and consumer campaigner who created MoneySavingExpert.comand is now the site’s Executive Chair. Martin also founded and chairs the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity.

He’s the UK’s most-googled man, Citizens Advice’s Consumer Champion of the Year, and has spearheaded major financial justice campaigns including bank charges reclaiming (over seven million template letters downloaded), PPI reclaiming (over six million) and a successful large-scale campaign to get financial education in schools. He has his own prime-time ITV programme, The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as a range of other regular media slots. He was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2014.

About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. It was set up in 2003 for just £100, and its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly MSE’s Money Tips email, and more than 16 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 28 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.