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1.4 million turn to payday loans for Christmas

1.4 million turn to payday loans for Christmas

According to the Money Advice Service’s annual Christmas spending survey released this week, 1.4 million UK adults will rely on payday loans this festive season to cover costs.

This has grown by 0.2 million in the past year as the research reveals that the national total ‘seasonal spend’ of £26 billion is a £2 billion increase on last year’s figure.

Commenting on the research, Jane Symonds, from the Money Advice Service says that the increase in using payday loans is down to the lack of planning ahead of Christmas.

“Christmas is such a special time of the year for most of us, but a big debt hangover is the last thing anyone wants,” she said.

“Planning ahead by looking carefully at costs will help consumers to take control of their spending and alleviate some of the pressure.

“This can also limit the need to turn to options such as payday loans, which will be less accessible in the New Year due to the recent announcement by the FCA.”

The survey revealed that 24 per cent did not plan ahead when it came to Christmas spending and a further 24 per cent said they simply ‘do what it takes’ in order to put on a good Christmas for friends and family.

More worryingly was that one in ten people said they will ‘spend now, worry later’ when it came to financing Christmas.

The survey revealed the main reasons why there is a lack of planning when it comes to Christmas:

•    Can afford not to – 19 per cent
•    Find it hard to put money aside each month – 17 per cent
•    Don’t think about Christmas when it is still summer/autumn – 16 per cent
•    Live on a month by month basis – 13 per cent
•    Rather worry about it when the time comes – 12 per cent

Thirty per cent of the survey say they will find Christmas harder to afford than last year, while for four per cent of adults, money is so tight that they plan to not buy presents completely.

However, Jane Symonds says people can still plan:  “However there is still time to make a positive impact on your Christmas finances.

“Our Christmas Money Planner will help you prioritise the essentials and for those on a tight budget, our Cutback Calculator will show you how to free up some spare cash.

“Even small, daily savings from now until Christmas can make a real difference.”

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