1 in 3 Brits Turning to Credit to Cover the Cost of Christmas

December 15, 2016

As many as a third of all British consumers are turning to credit to cover their costs this Christmas, according to a recent survey.

That figure equates to around 16.5 million people who are adding to their debts during the festive period.

For many people, taking on extra credit over Christmas won’t cause any real problems but for others it could lead to significant financial concerns and major debt management woes in the New Year.

With that in mind, the Money Advice Trust, which has been looking into the issue of how Christmas affects consumer spending and household finances, is urging indebted Brits to seek support in managing their money if they need it before their festive spending runs out of control.

The charity group’s recent research found that there could be roughly five million people around the UK who “regularly worry” or “feel stressed” about their finances during the Christmas period.

Many people take on extra debt in order to pay for gifts for their loved ones at Christmas but an estimated 10.8 million Brits use credit not for lavish presents but just to pay for food at this time of year.

Only 36 per cent of people asked on behalf of the Money Advice Trust said that they were “well prepared” to cover their Christmas costs and 10 per cent suggested that they simply “try not to think about” money until the festivities are over.

Joanna Elson, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Money worries can have a huge impact on your life at any time – but the fact that they are putting Christmas at risk for up to five million people shows what an extremely difficulty time of year this can be.

“This is also, of course, a busy time of year – and it is easy to see why many people don’t want to deal with financial problems in December.

“I would urge anyone suffering from worries about money or debt to seek free advice.”

The Money Advice Trust is encouraging all UK consumers to consider their spending more carefully this Christmas and to avoid adding to their debts if they’re concerned that they won’t be able to afford their repayments in the New Year.

If you live in Scotland and you’re worried about your personal debts then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. You can contact one of our offices at any time to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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