Nine out of ten Brits say no to Christmas borrowing

Nine out of ten Britons say they will pay for the cost of Christmas through savings or monthly income rather than additional borrowing according to research for credit report provider MyCallcredit.

Its research also revealed one in two people (57.3%) in the UK say they will spend less than £500 on Christmas while only one in twenty (5.4%) believes it will cost £1,000 or more.

Men are slightly less likely to pay for Christmas on credit (8.8%) than women (10.4%) but those that do are more likely to put the lions share of the cost on plastic. One in four men (25.2%) say more than half their costs will go on credit compared to just one in eight (12%) women.

And women are better at paying off their debt than men with only 1 per cent of women saying they don't know when their credit debts will be paid off compared to 16 per cent of men.

Over 65's will spend the least on Christmas with two in five (42.5%) saying it will cost them less than £250 compared to a national average of one in four (24.2%).

Those aged 25 to 44 are likely to be the biggest spenders with just under one in ten (8.5 %) saying it will cost £1000 or more compared to one in twenty (5.4%) across all age groups.

While those in the 45 to 54 age group are 50 per cent more likely than average to put festive funding on plastic.

Consumer affairs director Mel Mitchley says:

"Our research shows nine out of ten people don't intend to borrow to cover the cost of Christmas, and the vast majority of those who do will pay it off within three months, which is really encouraging.

"There's a lot of emphasis on lenders to lend responsibly but there is also an onus on the individual to borrow responsibly. Our survey shows that message is getting through and it's going to be individuals who are piling on the pounds this Christmas not their debts."

Regionally, the research revealed people living in the North East expect to be the biggest spenders this year with one in ten (11.1%) saying they will spend £1,000 or more compared to a national average of one in twenty (5.4%).

More people in the Midlands than anywhere else think Christmas will cost £250 or less (27.4%), while people in Yorkshire are the least likely to fork out £1,000 or more over the festive period (0.9%).

Key Findings
  • 35.6 per cent of people will pay for Christmas from savings.
  • 52.7 per cent of people will pay for Christmas out of their normal monthly income.
  • 8 per cent of people will pay for some or all of Christmas using credit.
  • 10.4 per cent of women said they would use credit this Christmas compared to 8.8 per cent of men.
  • 67 per cent of people who say they will use credit this Christmas say it will be paid off within three months.
  • Only 7.8 per cent of people don't know when they will pay off their Christmas borrowing.
Editors Notes
  1. The research was carried out by NEMS market research among 1000 adults for MyCallcredit between 28 October and 2 November 2005.