Southerners plan Christmas on credit

Southerners are more likely than anyone else in the country to put the cost of Christmas on credit and the least likely to know when it will be paid off according to research by credit report service MyCallcredit.

Overall 12.9 per cent of Southerners said they would fund their festivities using credit compared to 8 per cent across the UK. The vast majority said their Christmas costs would come from monthly income (61.7% against a national average of 52.7%) or savings (23.5% compared to an average of 35.6%).

Southerners are more likely than average to splash out with 8 per cent saying they intend to spend £1,000 or more compared to a national average of 5.4 per cent. Six out of ten of Southerners (57.9%) say Christmas will cost them less than £500 in line with the national average (57.3%).

But of those who intend to use credit this Christmas 22.4 per cent admit they don't know when they will pay it off compared to just 7.8 per cent nationally.

Consumer affairs director Mel Mitchley says:

"Christmas is often a time when people can feel pressure to spend more than they can afford and our research shows Southerners are more likely to use credit and less likely to know when it will be paid off than the rest of the country.

"If people are going to borrow this Christmas they should do so within their existing credit arrangements and aim to pay it off quickly, otherwise some will still be facing a Christmas hangover when it gets to summer next year."

Key Findings
  • Southerners were more likely to use credit than any other region of the UK with 12.9 per cent saying some of their Christmas spending would be on credit.
  • East Anglians were the least likely to pay for Christmas using credit 4.3 per cent against a national average of 8 per cent.
  • People in Lancashire were most likely to pay for Christmas from savings (44.1%) while people in the South were least likely to use savings to cover festive costs (23.5%). Nationally 35.6 per cent of people said savings would pay for Christmas.
Editors Notes
  1. The research was carried out by NEMS market research among 1000 adults for MyCallcredit between 28 October and 2 November 2005.