PEOPLE BORROWING MONEY to pay for costs at Christmas will get an average loan of €410 according to a survey published by the Irish League of Credit Unions.
Half of the 1,000 adults surveyed as part of the research said that they expect to borrow money over the Christmas period with 75 per cent saying they were “felt worse” about their financial situation this year compared to last year.
The ILCU are warning about the use of high interest money lenders during the December period with their research indicating that young people are more likely to borrow money from these sources.
“Availing of this type of credit will most certainly put many people in further debt at a time when they can least afford expensive credit,” warns ILCU chief executive Kieron Brennan.
We have called and continue to call on Government to act and introduce a statutory interest rate cap for licensed moneylenders in an effort to regulate the sector.
Men expect to spend more on Christmas than women but are likely to recover quicker financially afterwards. The 18-34 age bracket are the most likely to use a moneylender with 12 per cent say they will do so in 2013.
The survey showed that 7 in 10 consumers will take a month or more to financially recover from the costs of Christmas with 6 per cent of people saying they will still be feeling its financial effect nine months from now.
The average spend on Christmas this year is expected to be greater than last year with the survey estimating that Irish people will spend an average of €590 this year as opposed to €527 in 2012.
Irish parents plan on spending an average of €185 on presents for their children, an increase from €170 in 2012.
In provincial terms, those in Ulster are likely to spend the most according to the survey results, spending on average €630 euro, followed by Leinster (excluding Dublin) at €605, Dublin €595, Connaught €590 and Munster €570.
All this spending takes its toll however with 76 per cent of people saying that “Irish people spend too much at Christmas” and 42 per cent admitting that it causes them to feel stress.
Despite this, 60 per cent agree that “there is nothing nicer than a proper Irish Christmas”.