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Britons load up on store cards, payday loans and car finance at astonishing rates

A string of announcements by major lenders, some of whom target customers who struggle to get credit, has laid bare the scale of the consumer credit binge.

NewDay, which owns the Aqua and Marbles credit card brands, as well as providing store cards for House of Fraser, Debenhams and Topshop, said its lending grew at an astonishing 32 per cent in 2016, with one million new customers borrowing.

The country’s biggest payday lender Enova, owner of lending sites including QuickQuid, said it had seen 16 per cent growth in the first quarter compared with a year ago. Enova said demand had been ‘very strong’. It overtook Wonga as the biggest payday lender in the UK last year after its rival bore the brunt of a backlash against the explosion in the market for easy but expensive debt.

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