Credit cards to fund Christmas for 17% of Brits

15 November 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Almost half of consumers in the UK are concerned about how they are going to pay for Christmas this year, with 17 per cent saying that they will turn to their credit card and pay if off later.

Research from moneysupermarket.com has found that 66 per cent of Brits will not have saved enough to pay for the festivities and presents by the time Christmas comes.

While 18 per cent said that they have already saved enough, and 34 per cent claim to be on target to have enough saved in time for doing the Christmas shopping, many will get themselves into debt to create the perfect festive season.

Instead of having sufficient savings in place, the majority of shoppers will be turning to credit cards, overdrafts, loans, and their December paycheques to cover the cost of Christmas.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com, said that the best way to fund Christmas is to be prepared and save up: "Christmas is always a difficult time of year financially and the current economic climate is not making things any easier. Preparation is the key during the festive season and consumers who have saved will be able to start the New Year without the burden of Christmas debt hanging over them," he said.

But, those without sufficient savings should be savvy about the alternatives they choose for funding Christmas when their salaries do not stretch far enough, Mr Mounford added, recommending that those who intend to use a credit card consider one with zero per cent interest on purchases.

"Provided you are able to pay off the balance in full within the zero per cent period, these cards are a good way of spreading the cost of Christmas," he urged, but warned shoppers not to be tempted to spread it over a longer period, or they could still be paying it off when next Christmas rolls around.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd