December 2, 2022

NI Advice urges people to act now to avoid Christmas debt

In recent months, Northern Ireland has seen huge increases in the cost of living, which has led many people to turn to credit to pay for their day-to-day expenses. As Christmas approaches, we urge people to avoid overspending and use high-interest loans to cover additional costs incurred during the holiday season.

Christmas is too easy a time to overspend with many users of credit cards, store cards, payday loans, buy-it-now, pay-later products and even illegal loans, resulting in heavy bills in January. With rising interest rates, food and energy prices, January will become a real struggle for many.

Tips NI has released a six-step guide on how to avoid getting into debt this Christmas, with tips below.

Sinead Campbell

Sinead Campbell, Money, Debt and Quality Manager at Advice NI, says, “People are under pressure to spend more at this time of year, but with the cost of living rising and the uncertainty surrounding interest rates, the extra money just isn’t there. Many people are worried about how they will pay their mortgages, rent, heat their homes and feed their children this year. Christmas may not be on their minds yet, but leaving everything to the last minute leads to rash decisions that could end up costing more in the long run.

“People often have no choice but to use credit to pay for Christmas. However, on top of the cost of living crisis, it will only make things worse. Many will find it difficult to keep pace with repayments and will end up taking on more debt.

NI’s 6 Tips for Avoiding Christmas Debt:

Be Honest – If after paying your usual expenses, you find that you only have money left to spend on holiday meals or children’s toys, let your loved ones know in advance that you will not be exchanging of gifts.

Be Aware of High Interest Credit

Seek Help Early – If you’re already struggling to make ends meet or are overworked over Christmas, you can get help from Advice NI.

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