World News and Trends: The house that debt built

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The house that debt built

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Of even more concern for consumers is that "the real burden of debt has shifted from paying the interest to repaying the capital, and the figures can be startlingly large."

In Britain and the United States millions of credit-card users are trapped in a potential lifetime debt sentence. Monthly payments used to be 5 percent of the total amount owed. In same cases this has dropped to as low as 2 percent, assuring thousands of pounds and dollars of extra interest payments for many cardholders.

If you would like to know how to properly handle your own credit cards, please see "Do You Know How to Use a Credit Card?" on page 10 of this issue. You might also want to request our free booklet Managing Your Finances. (Sources: Financial Times, Daily Mail [all London]).