Waterford consumers struggling to pay interest charges on credit card debt: TD
A Waterford TD has called on banks and credit providers to offer “interest breaks” for customers.
Local Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler said financial institutions could use the terms of the mortgage break “as the basis for an agreement with customers”.
Deputy Butler said: “The Covid-19 crisis is placing a huge financial strain on people here in Waterford, and right across the country. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and are reliant on the €350 a week Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which could be a significant reduction in income.
“I have had a number of queries in recent weeks from people worried about the interest on their credit cards – some may have made a substantial purchase after Christmas, while others simply hadn’t paid off the balance – and now they’re worried about only meeting the minimum payments and the amount of interest they will incur.”
Deputy Butler welcomed the three-month mortgage holiday break for homeowners, adding: “I believe they [banks] could look at something similar for those people worried about credit card debt.”
The Waterford TD said: “An interest break could take the pressure off these people in the short-term, at a time when they are bearing the most difficult financial burden.
“Much like the mortgage break, the payments could be deferred for a number of months.
“This is not an endorsement of credit card debt but is a bid to reflect the reality of the situation for so many and to try and ease the short-term financial pressure on them at this very difficult time.”