An expert has warned consumers not to rely on personal loans to ensure they can afford Christmas as it could take two or three further years to repay the debt.
Steven Baillie, head of loans with Sainsbury’s Bank, said it depends what the consumer is planning on buying for Christmas, for example, a person seeking to buy a car is in a different position to someone trying to fund the festivities on credit.
He said a responsible lender would not offer holiday-season loans where "Christmas comes round two or three times before you’ve paid off the first one".
Financial advice charity Credit Action reported there were 669 million plastic card transactions in December last year, equating to 250 payments a second throughout the entire month.
A Moneyexpert.com study discovered that in January this year Britons failed to pay more than a million bills because they had had overspent on Christmas.