Why did Experian send 24 emails and offer me 39 separate credit cards when we’re in the middle of the cost of living crunch?
- Desperate families are at increasing risk of being lured into unmanageable debt
- Borrowers spent £2bn on credit cards alone in the first three months of the year
- By comparison, shoppers paid off £2.7bn credit card debt in first quarter of 2021
- One-in-five people are using buy-now, pay-later schemes for essential groceries
- Charities issue stark warning about number of families at risk of falling into debt
For the past two months Experian has flooded my inbox with no fewer than 24 emails. Most offered tempting credit card and loan deals. Four arrived in one week alone.
‘Great news’, the first exclaimed. ‘You’re likely to be eligible for 37 credit cards’.
Others dangled ‘exclusive’ and ‘unbeatable’ new deals that the credit-reference agency promised I have a ‘great chance’ of being approved for.
Debt risk: With households facing a cost-of-living crunch, experts warn that excessive marketing for credit cards and loans is completely irresponsible
The latest arrived on Monday, claiming I would be ‘spoiled for choice because I am likely to be eligible for 39 cards’.
With households facing a cost-of-living crunch, experts warn that this excessive marketing is completely irresponsible.
While credit cards and loans can be a useful way to spread the cost of an expensive planned purchase, desperate families struggling to cope with bill hikes are at increasing risk of being lured into unmanageable debt.
Official figures show that borrowers spent £2 billion on credit cards alone in the first three months of the year.
By comparison, shoppers paid off £2.7 billion of credit card debt in the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile one-in-five people are using buy-now, pay-later schemes for groceries, according to Hargreaves Lansdown.
An Experian spokesman claimed that because I had opened 80 pc of emails sent in December and January, it took this as an indication of interest in its offers.
Yet this means that if customers just want to view an offer, Experian will seize the opportunity to bombard them with further adverts.
On the breadline: One-in-five people are using buy-now, pay-later schemes for groceries, according to Hargreaves Lansdown
Matt Dronfield, Head of Debt Free London, say: ‘Some of the more aggressive credit card marketing out there is plainly irresponsible at a time when a lot of people are under considerable financial pressure.’
Sue Anderson, from debt charity StepChange, says: ‘Taking out high-cost credit is not a discretionary activity — it’s due to a lack of other options and it’s often taken out to pay for essentials.’
Experian says the number of emails an individual receives each month will vary depending on their account settings and whether they are actively searching for credit.
A spokesman adds: ‘Experian is committed to helping people access the best deals on affordable credit and insurance suited to their personal circumstances. Our credit eligibility emails can be switched off by customers at any time.’