Up to 2.5m will take out a loan this Christmas

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Up to 2.5m will take out a loan this Christmas

This Christmas up to 2.5m will take out a loan this Christmas just to heat their home.

7 million adults plan to take out a loan to cover the extra costs of Christmas, more than a third of these will use loans to pay their winter energy bills and around 57% will borrow just to put festive food on the table. ⅔ will cut the cost of Christmas by saving on festive food and spending less on presents and socialising and 1/10 will completely forget about the classic Christmas turkey this year.

Housing provider Circle Housing has found that as energy bills again begin to rise consumers who are already struggling to deal with rising food costs and stagnant wage growth. Of those who plan to take out a loan this Christmas, 83% said they plan to use a credit card, 24% to use their bank overdraft, 9% are going to look to family or friends for a small loan and 6% will use a back loan to cover the costs. 5% have said they will use a payday loans companies whilst 2% are planning to take a loan from an unofficial lender or loan shark.

Many families are planning to save money by going without some of their usual Christmas treats.

According to uSwitch 65% will make changes to their Christmas festivities, ⅓ will reduce the number of people they give presents to & 1/10 will give homemade gifts rather than shop bought. A quarter of people plan to go without a real tree and 1/10 will forego their turkey in order to save money. 18% will spend less on entertaining at home and over ¼ have said they will socialise less with their friends. Despite the economy picking up there could be a few more Christmases before families start to see more money in their pockets to spend over the festive season – Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility warned that workers are unlikely to see decent pay rises for some time to come. He forecast that the average pay will not start to rise faster than prices until 2015 – until wage growth starts to outstrip inflation again, families are only going to continue to feel poorer.

It is estimated that the cost of putting food on the table is to rise by 3.8% next year and further still in 2015. Prestige Purchasing, which supplies the restaurant trade has warned that poor harvests as a result of bad weather and the high demand for meat growing from the middle classes in China and India have resulted in a ‘perfect storm’ to push up costs.

Matt Gaskin, group financial inclusion officer for Circle Housing said: “Christmas is always a time of year that household budgets can get stretched and people start to feel the pinch…However, with recent rises in energy bills we are more worried than ever before that people will turn to payday lenders or loan sharks, particularly some of the most vulnerable sections of society…We urge anybody who is worried about managing their money to get help right away and deal with the debt quickly”

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