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People who rely on their overdraft facilities are being warned to make sure they manage them effectively.

Tom Howard, spokesperson for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), said they are designed to give people "that little extra leeway in their finances", but should not be totally relied upon.

"The CCCS would however never recommend that overdrafts should be used as a regular means of credit for consumer use, and other forms of credit may well have lesser rates and be cheaper to borrow with," he continued.

He encouraged people who rely on their overdraft too often to seek debt management advice, as the situation could be "very serious".

Earlier this month, research from Moneyfacts.co.uk revealed that the average credit card purchase rate is on the rise, standing at 18.1 per cent on June 4th, up from 16.3 per cent two years ago.

It suggested that customers who opt to pay back the minimum on their cards will be the hardest hit by problems in the wider market, paying back an extra £408 in interest on a balance of £2,000.

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