Avoid the Hangover of Christmas Debt

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Equifax Offers Tips on How Consumers can Manage Their Budget Over the Christmas Period

It can be easy to get carried away with the Christmas shopping, but Equifax warns consumers to resist the urge to over indulge, which can leave people struggling with debts that reach far into the New Year.

“Having a Christmas budget doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable time,” explains Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director for Equifax. “A bit of planning now, can help spread the cost of the festive season and reduce the urge to pay for it all on the credit card. Take some time to think about the year ahead and remember that if you’re still paying for the Christmas shopping credit card bill in July, that summer holiday may be difficult to afford. Thinking about spending commitments after the festive period can help put things in perspective.”

Avoid the Ghost of Christmas Debt – Top Tips from Equifax

  •     Plan ahead – work out how much you are going to spend on each person and stick to it. Start buying now to spread the cost.
  •     Prioritise – remember you still need to pay the bills, so budget for the rent, mortgage, utilities and food costs for December.
  •     Cash is king – if you can afford to, pay for things by cash or debit card. Don’t be tempted by new credit agreements you don’t need.
  •     Bargain hunters – remember to shop around for the best deal. Shop online and buy things in one order to save on delivery costs.
  •     Avoid the overdraft – if you do have to dip into your overdraft, speak to your bank, as unauthorised overdrafts incur heavy costs, which can quickly mount up.
  •     Interest free credit? – read the small print on loans to ensure you can afford the monthly payments.
  •     Count the cost of credit – shop around for the best credit deals and budget for the monthly costs, once the discounts are over and the higher interest rates kick in.
  •     Budget – pay your bills on time to avoid incurring charges and use your Christmas budgeting skills all year round.
  •     Start saving for Christmas 2013 – it’s never too early to start saving. Put a little aside each month and have yourself a bumper Christmas next year.

Munroe, concludes, “Now, is a good time of year to conduct a financial MOT. By reviewing all financial commitments, individuals can calculate how much they have available to spend on Christmas without slipping into unmanageable debt.”

Consumers can monitor their credit agreements, by downloading the Equifax Credit Report app. This means they can check out their credit status at any time, allowing them to make informed decisions when it comes to spending all year round or applying for more credit and getting the best rates.

The Equifax app is available free from the Apple iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Androids.

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging on to our website. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £8.99 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

About Equifax
Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organise and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

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Louise Fowler | Clare Watson | Cecile Stearn | Wendy Harrison
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