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CSA issues 7-point debt plan

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The Credit Services Association has re-launched its 7-point plan to help consumers avoid the pitfalls of debt over the festive period.

The top tips from the CSA include setting a clear budget and sticking to it, making a list of presents and not being tempted to buy more, and starting to buy early in order to spread the cost.

It also recommends shopping around to get the best deal and ignoring offers that appear to be too good to be true as they invariably are.

Kurt Obermaier, executive director of the CSA, said: “Figures published by business analysts predict that consumers will individually spend about £385 on gifts this Christmas. The credit squeeze and the record level of UK consumer debt will not deter the consumer spending on extravagant gifts – like designer labels, games consoles and MP3 players. However, with higher interest rates than this time last year, shoppers will be hit harder when January comes.

“We’ve seen the value of debt passed onto professional debt collection agencies grow from £8.6bn in 2003 to £22.7bn by the end of this year, and we forecast this to grow to £24.1bn by the end of next year. These figures serve to underline the worrying problem of indebtedness in Britain.

“With Bank of England figures for consumer debt standing at a staggering £1,379bn – 3 times what it was a decade ago – we have re-launched our 7-point plan. By following these guidelines and taking into account this simple advice and acting sensibly, consumers can avoid unmanageable debt and the associated stress this festive season.”


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