YOUR correspondent, Paul Turgoose, is a little harsh on issuers of credit cards (HAS, Mar 31).

I can however, in my case, only relate to those issued by a leading retailer and my high street bank.

Credit cards are extremely useful on the understanding that the amount borrowed has to be paid back by the agreed time.

I am given seven weeks maximum to do so. My television licence is due on December 31 each year, however being a little naughty, I always arrange to pay mine on January 3 by credit card knowing I do not actually have to pay the amount until towards the end of February interest free.

If I fail to do so I will incur a quite severe penalty – this has always been the case coronavirus or not.

When using my credit card I always think back to advice given to me by my parents – do not buy the item unless you can afford it. Hence for the first six months of our married life, in 1971, my wife and I could not afford carpets or even a television, (a car came along in 1984), as we struggled to pay the mortgage.

We were both working. I accept the buying of food is a more serious issue but there is a lot of help available.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.