Christmas overuse of cards ‘to be expected’

It is not unexpected that people continue to use their credit cards too much at Christmas, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service has said.

Head of media and public affairs Frances Walker said that the advice given to consumers is to save plenty of money for their seasonal budget, but noted that many fail to achieve this and rely on credit cards to bridge the gap between income and spending levels.

She added: “The problem is when it comes to the point where the card is used up to the extent where you have used up the balance, rather than making planned purchases and spreading out payments.”

For those who are struggling with the amount they spend on plastic, either at Christmas or any other time, one solution may be to find an alternative card they can transfer their balance to at a lower rate.

Research by the Office of Fair Trading has found that 54 per cent of UK adults have at least one credit card, with 34 per cent owning only one, 13 per cent possessing two and seven per cent at least three.

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