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Young turning to moneylenders to fund Christmas

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GOLDMAN Sachs said the yen and euro will weaken on further quantitative easing (QE) in Japan and Europe, while the Federal Reserve refrains from raising interest rates when US policy makers meet this week

GOLDMAN Sachs said the yen and euro will weaken on further quantitative easing (QE) in Japan and Europe, while the Federal Reserve refrains from raising interest rates when US policy makers meet this week

GOLDMAN Sachs said the yen and euro will weaken on further quantitative easing (QE) in Japan and Europe, while the Federal Reserve refrains from raising interest rates when US policy makers meet this week

Young adults are most likely to get themselves into debt with moneylenders over Christmas, with more men than women seeking the expensive loans, according to credit unions.

Their festive survey also shows that three-quarters of people find managing their household bills and expenses much harder over Christmas, with more than half struggling to heat their home and four out of 10 struggling to pay the mortgage or rent.

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) also found that more than a third of people are burdened by food costs as Christmas puts pressure on hard-pressed parents trying to give their families a holiday to remember.

"We strongly urge the public to think twice about using moneylenders to avoid a sackful of debt in the New Year while also urging consumers to be smart about their shopping," said Ed Farrell of the ILCU, as it emerged that 6pc of people have approached or will consider approaching a moneylender to borrow for Christmas.

"Young adults are the group most likely to approach a moneylender, with 9pc having done so and 8pc considering doing so."

While the figures represent a small drop from last year, it is still causing concern that people are seeking-out costly credit.

"We would echo warnings from the Central Bank last week about avoiding high interest rate moneylenders," said Mr Farrell, as the ILCU published the results of its annual Christmas Spending Survey.

trapped

"If you feel you need to borrow, speak to your local credit union first. Using a moneylender can result in consumers getting trapped in a cycle of debt which can be hugely difficult to break free of."

Nearly half of those surveyed feel that money will be as tight as it has been in recent years, and parents plan to spend an average of €180 on presents for each child, a slight fall from €185 last year.

There has also been an increase in the number of people travelling outside of the Republic to do their Christmas shopping, with 35pc of consumers willing to travel, up from 29pc last year.

Similarly, there has been an increase in the numbers shopping online for gifts, with 67pc using the internet for Christmas presents this year compared with 65pc last year.

The survey also learned that Irish people find spending time with family the most important element of Christmas.

"We all need to remember that Christmas really is about giving, not robbing the family finances," said Mr Farrell.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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