Britons owe a staggering £72.5bn on credit cards with £400m added to the total in November alone, new figures show.
Each household in the UK now has an average of £2,688 unpaid on credit cards, one of the most expensive means of borrowing, as experts warned more and more families were being left with unmanageable piles of debt. When personal loans are added in, each UK household has almost £8,000 of outstanding consumer credit.
The total figure stands 24 per cent higher than it did on the eve of the financial crash, while consumers are paying off their cards at a higher average level of interest than in 2008.
People with low incomes or living in poverty were turning to credit cards because of their heavy marketing and easy availability, according to David Steele of The Money Charity. The Money Advice Service (MAS) estimates that 8.3 million people in the UK are over-indebted, and that 22 per cent of UK adults have less than £100 in savings, making them highly vulnerable to a financial shock such as losing their job or incurring unexpected bills.