'Avoid store cards' unless immediate repayment possible

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Consumers should make sure that they avoid taking out store cards unless they plan to pay their full balance of their first statement, a leading UK consumer group has claimed.

Martyn Saville, a senior researcher at Which?, said that store cards could leave consumers with debt problems - and said that financial institutions should make sure they lend responsibly, bearing this in mind.

"You should only take out a store card to get a discount if you can repay all the money when you get your first statement, as this means you avoid paying any interest," Mr Saville commented.

"If you don't plan to do this, avoid taking out store cards altogether."

He went on to say that finance companies should make sure that they don't give consumers store cards with credit limits beyond their repayment ability.

"Financial institutions should always lend responsibly and properly assess the consumer's ability to pay back the credit extended," he added.

"Consumers should also not be unduly pressurised or incentivised to take on additional debt."

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