One in three plans to borrow to finance the Christmas holidays
ONE in three consumers consider borrowing to finance the Christmas holidays.
And the average expenditure for the festive breakout would be around € 1,000, according to a study commissioned by the state body responsible for consumer protection.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said a survey it commissioned found that 17% of people aged 35 to 54 planned to spend at least € 2,000.
The consumer watchdog has warned consumers to closely manage Christmas credit to avoid being overwhelmed with New Year’s refund claims.
Households with children plan to spend € 1,400 on the festivities compared to those without children.
The majority of consumers said they would use their savings to finance their Christmas spending.
But one in three consumers said they plan to borrow to cover their Christmas expenses this year.
A credit card is the most popular type of financing, according to research conducted by IPSOS MRBI.
Other forms of borrowing for consumers going into debt to fund the celebrations include loans from a bank or credit union, financing from a store, or a loan from a lender.
The CCPC has cautioned consumers who are considering using credit to finance their Christmas spending, to look for a cheaper credit option before using a credit card, and to limit their debt as much as possible.
The warning came as new forms of credit, such as “buy now, pay later”, are increasingly available to consumers who shop online and in stores.
CCPC Director of Communications Grainne Griffin said the “buy now, pay later” financing options can look very attractive and seem to limit the financial cost of Christmas.
However, these debts can grow rapidly and consumers may find themselves faced with multiple repayment requests in the New Year.
The CCPC encourages consumers to limit their debt during the Christmas season.
“From credit cards and online loans to buy now, pay later options, it’s never been easier to rack up multiple debts and run the risk of being overwhelmed. refunds once the holiday season is over.
“With many consumers shopping earlier this year, it can mean that credit card bills and other refunds can also come due earlier, potentially before Christmas,” Ms. Griffin said.
Most people plan to spend the same amount of money on Christmas this year as they do in 2020.
Some 22% said they plan to spend more this Christmas, with a similar percentage planning to spend less than last year.
Research results also showed that people with higher incomes were more likely to increase their Christmas spending this year, while those with lower incomes said they would spend less this year.
Price hikes have been cited as the number one reason people will spend more money on Christmas.
Others said they plan to spend more to make the holiday season even more special.
A third said they plan to spend more because they have more savings, with another third citing higher income as a reason to spend more.
One in 10 said easier access to credit or loans was a top reason they plan to spend more on Christmas.