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Don’t Get Clobbered by Christmas Credit Card Debts

We recently came across some alarming news for those who are in debt and struggling to maintain the repayments in an economic climate of doom and gloom.  A massive six million Britons who are struggling with their debts have had their credit limits raised by card companies without asking for this!  According to figures collected by the Citizens’ Advice Bureau some unscrupulous financial product companies are putting individuals at risk by giving higher credit limits to a third of people who are having trouble financially.  Citizens’ Advice warn that credit card companies are lending too freely and of those who had their credit limits raised, only 25% of these actually requested to do so.  The average increases were £1,481 though ten percent of the increases involved sums up to £3,000 and more.

There are people in the UK right now who are facing financial heartache due to these unsolicited credit limit increases and many are falling into a debt spiral that they are unable to overcome.  We’re at that time of the year in the few weeks before Christmas when so many people are tempted to turn to credit in order to afford the festive season.  Parents who want to make sure their children get everything they ask for on Christmas Day are at risk of falling into debt or increasing their debt, thinking that they will pay it all off in the first couple of months of the new year.

It is so easy to spend money that you don’t actually have when you’re wandering round the high street shops with a credit card in your hand!  For the most part, it doesn’t even seem like you’re spending money – you don’t see less cash in your purse with every item you purchase.  Because the spending seems “invisible” in this way, it’s only too easy to spend far more than you intend to without even realising that you’ve done so.  The run up to Christmas is the most risky time of year when it comes to taking on debts – it’s just so tempting to buy it all on credit and sort out how to afford it all afterwards.

Most of us begin every New Year with good intentions and resolutions and those who have racked up debts over Christmas are likely to start off the year thinking that they can repay the debts during the first few months of the year.  While this scenario is possible, most of us don’t allow for other circumstances that may make it impossible to do so.  Just a badly timed car breakdown can stymie your plans to pay off your debts, as can a major home appliance breaking down!  The car will have to be repaired immediately so that you can use if for work, etc.  As for the breakdown of one of your appliances, the only one that you can really manage without these days is a dish-washer.  If it’s the fridge or freezer, it will need immediate repair or replacement, as would a washing machine. 

Think about the future when you’re doing your Christmas shopping this year and, tempting as it may be, curb your enthusiasm and try your hardest to spend within your means.  When it comes to extending credit limits, keep a close eye on yours and if you see an extension, get in touch with the provider to question this.