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Credit rates highest level in four years

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Many credit card providers raised interest rates over Christmas, and if yours is one of them it could be the right time to switch.

According to the Bank of England the average rate rose from 15.89 per cent to 16.28 per cent in December, despite the base rate sticking at half a per cent.

The Daily Mail reports the increase could hurt around nine million Brits who will have used their credit card to pay for Christmas, and the million householders who used one to cover mortgage or rent payments last year.

Accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers warn it could be the start of a cycle, as the amount of bad debt on cards will increase, which in turn could lead lenders to raise rates even more.

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