Almost half of spenders in Shropshire expect to borrow money this Christmas

Steve Barras of Just Credit Union

And with a quarter of people in the UK worried about falling into debt this Christmas, Shropshire’s Just Credit Union – which carried out the survey of its members – has warned residents not to use unforeseen debt to tide them over this Christmas.

Steve Barras, Head of Organizational Development, said: “Our survey shows that many people set a budget for Christmas, but one in three say they always – or regularly – exceed their budget.

“It may seem easy to pay for gifts and food with a credit card or overdraft, but it can quickly become unmanageable and lead to financial problems at the start of the year.

“And while it can also be tempting to use ‘Buy now, pay later’ offers, these can again add up and unless you have a clear plan for repaying the loan during the interest-free period, it may become a problem again in the new year.

“With a little planning, people can still have a great Christmas and also a stress-free New Year.”

Just Credit Union advises that if people need to borrow this year, they should ensure that they have planned the loan, that it is affordable and that it is from a reputable registered organisation.

Research shows that across England there has been an increase in illegal money lending and although it may at first seem like a helping friend it can very quickly become threatening, with rates of exorbitant interest.

People should check that anyone they borrow from is registered with the FSA.

Steve added: “Just Credit Union is registered and makes sure the loans are affordable. We will also set up a savings account, so that there is money set aside for a rainy day or for next Christmas.

“Because we care about our members, rather than business profits, if we think anyone is planning on spending a little too much this Christmas, we’ll let them know how much we think they can comfortably afford. “

People can find out more about Just Credit Union’s Affordable Christmas Savings Loans by visiting its website. justcreditunion.org and the News section has tips and tricks on managing your money this Christmas.

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