Credit Where Credit Is Due

Despite the huge growth of borrowing in Britain, basic financial services are still out of reach for many people on low incomes. Some 15% of adults in the U.K. don't even have a current account with a bank, according to the research group NOP World — and it follows that the majority don't have mortgages or credit cards. Of course, it would hardly help those with tightly limited means if they were offered unlimited chances to borrow. But in an increasingly credit-driven economy, being poor and low on credit can be awfully expensive.

Consider how people pay for even the...

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