The practice of long 0% credit card balance transfer deals and very cheap high-value loans may be reaching an end according to one financial analyst.
The view was taken that sub-3% interest loans of more than £10,000 are now becoming rare.
As to the credit card balance transfers at 0%, the length of those deals is now beginning to shorten.
During a time of historically low interest rates and low interest loans there have been concerns raised that this may have led to many young people relying too much on credit.
These worries have been expressed by the Bank of England and the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Their concerns are that as young people get used to credit, at a time when interest rates are low, to pay or help pay for their basic living costs and needs, any rise in interest rates could mean that these people will be exposed to financial difficulties.
Andrew Hagger, an analyst at financial consultancy Moneycomms, said the latest “best-buy” tables signalled a shift away from the deals available in recent years.
He said it was more expensive to borrow larger sums, and the longest 0% balance transfer periods on credit cards had fallen from 43 months at the start of the year to 38 months now, with some falling at a faster rate.
“I suspect that the sub-3% personal loan may soon become a thing of the past and I doubt we will ever see the record 43-month 0% balance transfer term breached again,” he said.
With people using balance transfers to effectively use a new credit card to pay off a debt on another credit card, some charities have warned that failing to meet repayment deadlines could see people falling into a spiral of debt.
The Bank of England last week published figures showing that unsecured borrowing through loans, overdrafts and credit cards was still growing at 9.6% a year, but that this rate had slowed slightly during the summer.
In October, research for BBC News showed young people in particular were concerned about the amount of debt they are carrying and their ability to repay that debt
This was echoed by the head of the FCA, Andrew Bailey, who said: “There is a pronounced build-up of indebtedness amongst the younger age group.”
He said consumers, and institutions that lend to them, should be aware that interest rates may rise in the future and that credit should be “affordable”.