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Relying on credit cards alone to fund Christmas spending is a "sure-fire way" for consumers to find themselves with unmanageable debt, an expert has claimed.

John Hall, chief executive of debt services firm Newtomorrow.com, has warned credit cards are often viewed as a short-term solution but they can affect people’s long-term financial wellbeing, the Scotsman reports.

"Credit cards seem like an easy way to spread the cost of Christmas and, used sensibly, they can be. But to rely on them as the sole means of buying gifts is a sure-fire way of getting into unmanageable debt," he warned.

Earlier this month, a survey by Lloyds TSB revealed that as a nation, Britain is likely to overspend by £4.7 billion this Christmas.

It found 59 per cent of people anticipate overspending by an average of £174 each, with many believing it will take them five weeks to get their finances settled following the festive season.

The study found one in six of those who overspent will sell some presents online and one in five will work overtime or take on another job.

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