Wednesday 21 February 2018

Four in 10 will be saddled with debt after Christmas splurge

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

FOUR out of 10 adults expect to end up in debt to fund the Christmas celebrations.

And it will take some people up to seven months to pay back what they have borrowed to buy presents, food and drink, a new survey shows.

Women are more likely to run up debts than men.

The average spend per adult is set to be €562. Irish people are also set to top the spending league in Europe.

Most people will be forced to dip into their savings to fund the seasonal splurge, with one in 10 set to use their credit cards, a new survey commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions indicates.

Others are set to borrow from credit unions and from moneylenders.

Credit union leaders called on people to steer clear of moneylenders and approach their local credit union instead.

Chief executive of the Irish League of Credit Unions, Kieron Brennan, said: "We are warning people not to be tempted into using moneylenders due to the extremely high rate of interest charged, and also to watch out for credit card debt, as a high rate of interest will be charged on balances not cleared on time."

He encouraged householders to go to their credit union and start a Christmas savings account for next year.

And Frank Conway of MoneyCoach advised families to set a Christmas spending budget and to stick to it.

"With a good list and a practical budget on hand families should be in a better position to keep a tight rein on the Christmas shopping costs," he said. He also advised people to buy a family gift for relatives and friends instead of buying for individual family members.

Irish Independent

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