ACTION DESK: Credit cards debt risk for jobless folk

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ARE unemployed people being targeted by credit card companies?

A new survey shows there has been a 26 per cent rise in the number of cards that accept unemployed people in the last year, from 17 to 23.

Many providers have also reduced the amount someone would need to earn before successfully obtaining a credit card.

The minimum annual income to qualify has fallen from £9,718 last year to £9,035 in 2012.

Meanwhile, the number of credit cards aimed at people with substandard credit scores or limited credit histories has increased by more than half from five last year to 11 this.

However, despite credit cards potentially becoming more attainable over the past year, the study shows average interest charges and fees have risen, making borrowing more expensive.

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at, said: “As credit card providers make more cards available to more people, we are warning consumers of the dangers of debt as it appears to be increasingly easy to obtain yet more expensive to get rid of.”