Those struggling with debt should make a new year resolution to sort out their finances before next Christmas, an expert has urged.
Donald Macleod, head of cards at Sainsbury’s Bank, said many Christmas shoppers will be receiving their credit card bills now, which could prompt them to reassess their finances.
"Appraise where you are and see if there’s a better way of handling that debt – look at loans, look at restructuring, the zero per cent interest rates out there," he suggested.
Consumers should carefully examine their income and outgoings as they plan their year’s spending, Mr Macleod added.
However, for some debtors, the rising cost of credit will have squeezed their income to the point where their income appears insufficient to manage their debts.
Citizens Advice recently warned that many people had been lured into debt during the credit boom but that an increasing number are now finding they are unable to cope.
One option for those facing unmanageable debt and the growing risk of bankruptcy is an individual voluntary arrangement, more commonly known as an IVA.