Spending Over Festive Season ‘needs Careful Consideration’

With the festive season rapidly approaching more Britons will have to consider their finances with caution, an industry expert has reported.

According to James Ketchell, spokesperson for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), there will be a need for people to manage their spending effectively and keep within budgets in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And by doing so it is possible that consumers can avoid developing problems making repayments on various forms of borrowing such as loans and credit cards.

However, Mr Ketchell advised that debt difficulties are “very rarely” caused just by overspending in the build-up to December 25th. Although when consumers have significant sums of consumer debt, for instance 30,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds worth, he stated that they should keep in mind that the Christmas period “might be the tipping point which pushes people over the edge”. Consequently, he stated that the financial advisory service usually sees a rise in calls from those people struggling to manage with money in the weeks immediately following Christmas.

He said: “People will have to be a lot more careful in their spending than they have been in the past perhaps and really look at the cost of all the expenses at Christmas … They will have to live within their means.”

The CCCS representative also purported that one way to reduce the financial pressures during the days around the Christmas and new year period is to begin saving money in January. He claimed that although it is too late for consumers to do this for the upcoming festive period, putting a regular proportion of cash at the start of a year “is the ideal way to approach” avoiding fiscal difficulties when a 12-month period ends. Overall, Mr Ketchell reported that it is vital consumers keep inside spending limits. “It’s just a question of not going completely overboard and living within your means. That’s the most important thing,” he stated.

Those people who have had previous difficulties in making repayments on loans and plastic cards may find that their access to cheap loans has been somewhat curtailed due to damage to their credit reports. As a result, such consumers who are confident that they will be able to meet future borrowing commitments may find comfort in applying for a bad credit loan. However, Mr Ketchell reported that in taking such a loan they will be susceptible to a higher rate of interest than mainstream borrowing products. In turn he advised consumers to take this into account when planning their spending over the Christmas period and to be aware of how much money they will be set back during the time of the year.

Earlier in 2007, the CCCS spokesperson advised prospective borrowers who have been turned down for secured loans and other types of mainstream credit to take the time to think about why their application was unsuccessful. He urged consumers to consider if they really would have been able to afford to make repayments and think about whether the loan was something they really needed. In addition, Mr Ketchell stated that the recent tightening of the credit sector has made cheap loans harder to come across, which in turn may see more people look towards bad credit loans.

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