As Christmas approaches new research has found that some members of the public are still paying off Christmas 2013. The shocking figures founded by the retail credit lenders Pay4later found that 3.3 million adults were still paying last year’s Christmas debt in November. This is a large amount of the population and for a country in recovery is a worry. The study also found that the average family took six months to pay off debts accrue over the festive period.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) feels that falling wages and lower household savings are to blame; the lack of disposable income forces the use of credit with no means to repay it efficiently. An example would be, a minimum wage earner needs to earn a full-time wage packet for a whole year to pay off their previous Christmas debt.
Scott Law, CEO of Pay4Later said: “Consumer finance is at its highest for a decade and shoppers are increasingly confident about borrowing money. But still owing money on debts incurred for last Christmas the following November is potentially worrying and people need to ensure they have an affordable plan of how they are going to fund debts before taking on new credit.
“Retail finance offers with set repayments over an agreed period enable shoppers to plan ahead and fund major purchases in an affordable way.”
The research uncovered that the worst hit were 660,000 adults who still owe more than £1,000 from their 2013 Christmas splurges and 30% of the debt incurred was from major purchases and finance agreements. Although no figures are available for this year, there are concerns that debt could begin accruing across multiple Christmases, leaving the outlook for consumers bleak.
One in fourteen adults in Britain are still paying and the geographically the worst credit spenders are in London where 13% are still paying back their debts as opposed to Scotland where only 7% of the population are still paying.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain’s real-wage squeeze is forcing more and more families to put Christmas on credit. Millions of households will be still be paying for this year’s presents, food and drink well into the summer and beyond.”
Instead of benefiting from Britain’s economic recovery ordinary people are finding it harder to pay off their debts. If you want to get a head start on Christmas 2015, or to save money this year, visit our blogs that give advice on the best way to start the New Year:
How to have a Debt Free Christmas
The Big Budgeting Blog for 2015
If you are struggling with debt issues, whether these are business or personal debts, The Debt Advisor Ltd which incorporates The Business Debt Advisorcan help. There are a range of solutions available which include both formal and informal solutions such as Debt Management Plans (DMP), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), Bankruptcy as well as solutions for Businesses.
There is also free debt help and advice available through a variety of debt charities. For more information, we recommend you visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.
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