A debt problem is not usually caused by Christmas overspending although that can be the "tipping point" for some people, an expert has claimed.
James Ketchell, spokesman for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), said his organisation is busiest directly after Christmas each year.
However, as the credit crunch has made it more difficult for people to borrow, it is possible fewer people will seek help with debt in January, he suggested.
Those with bad credit ratings should remember that: "If you do receive credit it will be more expensive than a mainstream credit product People need to take that into account when taking out their loan or credit card," Mr Ketchell urged.
Citizens Advice reported that it received 15 per cent more requests for help with debt in January 2007 compared to 2006.
Financial advice charity Credit Action reports that in December last year a record high of £31 billion was spend using plastic.