Borrowing to cover Christmas

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ONE in 10 people in the North East has already borrowed money to cover Christmas, it was claimed today.

According to the survey carried out by insolvency trade body R3, about one in eight in the region think it will take anything from three months to a year to pay back the money they have been lent by friends, family or banks.

Nationally, people aged between 16 and 24 are more likely to have borrowed money than any other group, with more than one in six already in Christmas debt.

Linda Farish, chair of R3 in the North East, said: “While the statistics show a slight improvement, it’s still worrying to see that the 16-to-24s are developing bad money-management skills so early on, by relying on Christmas borrowing in this way.

“Fewer people than last year have borrowed money but there are still plenty of shopping days left until Christmas, and with unemployment figures significantly up this year, we can only expect to see more people saying they are struggling to afford the demands of the festive season.

“Given the ever increasing cost of living, particularly the hike in energy prices, spreading the cost of Christmas across a few pay cheques is sensible, but there are still huge numbers of people who will struggle to afford Christmas and may well look to short-term loans and credit cards.”

The survey found that, across the UK, 13 per cent did not think they would have money left for bills at the end of December.