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Consumers remain in control of repayments

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Seven out of 10 consumers (69 per cent) will be able to fund their Christmas without having to take on any extra borrowing, according to the latest quarterly Lloyds Bank Lending Report.

The report suggests overall consumer confidence in their ability to repay debts and stay afloat financially is high and rising, with 84 per cent feeling confident or very confident they will meet future repayments. The most common source used to make these payments is household income, with usage of this method increasing from 82 per cent in Q2 2015 to 85 per cent in Q3.

Digital channels are the preferred route for taking out a personal loan. The proportion of people who apply for a loan online is significantly higher than those who do it in branch in Q3, with 52 per cent using an online format to apply for a loan, compared with 30 per cent who apply in branch and 10 per cent over the telephone.

The top reasons people have taken out a personal loan include consolidating debts so they are all in one place (30 per cent), and purchasing a car or motorbike (28 per cent). Of those who used lending to fund a special occasion, 47 per cent did so to fund someone else’s birthday and 15 per cent to fund their own.

While those who fund an anniversary (16 per cent) remains static, 19 per cent of men are planning to use a loan to fund an anniversary, whereas only 12 per cent of women are planning to do the same.

Sam Clark, head of loans at Lloyds Bank, said: “We are continuing to see encouraging signs as more people can better manage their borrowing repayments. With an increase in consumers using household income to pay off existing credit, allied to the significant percentage of people saying they will not need to borrow more in the next six months, this paints a positive picture for consumer finances as we look ahead to the Christmas period.”

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