Almost 14 million Brits set for a ‘Christmas on credit’

Almost 14 million Brits will turn to credit cards to cover the cost of Christmas, research has shown, potentially storing up debt problems that will c…

Almost 14 million Brits will turn to credit cards to cover the cost of Christmas, research has shown, potentially storing up debt problems that will come back to haunt them in the new year.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of consumers will rely on plastic to get through the festive season, with 34 per cent using a credit card to buy presents, according to a survey by uSwitch.

The comparison site warned that many people will be living beyond their means this Christmas.

Nearly one in six respondents (15 per cent) said they are likely to spend more than they can afford, with a third (32 per cent) of this group saying they overindulge because that is "what is expected" at this time of year.

Average family spending is around £600 over the Christmas period, although one in ten consumers splash out more than £1,000.

About three in ten people (29 per cent) are forced to borrow money from somewhere to cover their increased outgoings.

Excessive spending over the winter holidays will add to existing debt problems for many consumers, with nine million people (18 per cent) still trying to pay off what they borrowed last Christmas, according to uSwitch.

The company also warned that consumer debt is now at its highest level since 2006, with £62.7 billion owed on credit cards alone.

Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch, said: "The quest for the perfect Christmas could plunge millions of families into debt and, for many, they will be paying the price well into 2016.

"Consumers are under enormous amounts of pressure to spend at this time of year, despite many knowing they can't afford it. Some are even still suffering a financial hangover from last year."

The research also suggested that many people try hard to be financially responsible at this time of year, with 60 per cent of respondents planning to make cutbacks to offset the cost of Christmas.

Posted by James Francis

Tell others:

shortlink