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Credit Cards & Loans

Christmas cutbacks for 14 million consumers

Kit Klarenberg
Written By:
Kit Klarenberg

Nearly 14 million Brits will put Christmas spending on a credit card this year, and 60 per cent will cut back on spending to make the period affordable, according to uSwitch.com research.

The price comparison and switching site’s study found families plan to spend £600 on Christmas, with one in ten splashing out more than £1,000.

To cover the cost, 34 per cent will put presents on plastic (with 21 per cent using their card to buy the turkey), and 29 per cent will borrow money.

Nine million consumers still hold debt from last Christmas, and overall credit card debt stands at £62.7bn, its highest since 2006.

Despite these findings, a mere 26 per cent of those using plastic to fund Christmas will use a cashback credit card, meaning the majority could miss out on valuable perks. Furthermore, just 15 per cent will use a 0 per cent purchase card, which allows consumers to defer repayment for up to 27 months. More than a third (35 per cent) will rely on a standard card, without any special offers or features.

The findings show that 15 per cent of consumers will spend beyond their means this Christmas. However, 60 per cent will look to make some cutbacks to help curb costs over the festive period.

Tashema Jackson, money expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Consumers are under enormous amounts of pressure to spend at this time of year, despite many knowing they can’t afford it.

“As well as cutting back where possible during the festive season, there are things consumers can do to help manage their money better. Savvy shoppers who can clear their balance in full each month can take advantage of a cashback credit card and make a little back with every purchase.

“Those unable to clear their balance can benefit from some breathing space by putting their presents on one of the many 0 per cent purchase cards on the market. Balance transfer cards are offering the longest ever interest-free periods, which could provide some welcome relief with the financial juggling.”