Debt prepare 2014: How to tackle Christmas overspending

If you have got your self into debt this Christmas, follow our manual on how to decrease what you owe


An estimated one in 5 people in the United kingdom struggle with serious debt issues, and several of these are ‘closet borrowers’ who hide debt from their households or partners.

If you have spiralled into debt by overspending this Christmas, there are methods to minimise the volume you owe.

The very best way to do this is lessen the amount of curiosity you are paying out on that debt.

One particular of the simplest methods is to transfer your debt from your existing credit card – which most likely charges a high interest rate – to a new a single at a less expensive rate. There are a number of suppliers which charge per cent curiosity on card balances, and for those with a whole lot of debt, cards with the longest 0pc time period will be the most suitable.

The credit card supplier will generally charge a 1-off charge of close to 3pc. So, transferring £1,000 of debt would cost £1,030. To minimise the fee, select a credit score card where the 0pc length offers you enough time to repay the debt in full.

Longest balance transfer cards

CardStability transfer time period at 0pcOne-off feeRepresentative APR following 0pc time periodBarclaycard Platinum

with extended BT

thirty months two.79%

(transferring £1,000 of debt would value £27.90 )

18.9% Barclaycard Platinum 29 months 2.39%

(transferring £1,000 of debt would price £23.90 )

18.9% Halifax BT credit score card 28 months two.45%

(transferring £1,000 of debt would value £24.50 )

18.9% Tesco Clubcard credit score card 28 months 2.9%

(transferring £1,000 of debt would cost £29 )

18.9% Natwest Platinum

/ RBS Platinum

28 months two.99%

(transferring £1,000 of debt would value £29.90 )


Bear in thoughts that not all credit card companies will give you the rate advertised.

“The prospective financial savings [of shifting your debt on to a balance transfer card] are enormous”, says MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis. “An individual owing £5,000 on a common 18.9pc card, repaying £200 per month, would take 32 months to clear the card at a expense of £1,270. Shifting it to Halifax would clear it six months faster at a cost of just £135.”

Mr Lewis adds: “If you need to have longer to spend and have a good credit score score, then turn into a credit score card tart. That signifies disloyally shifting the debt again to a new card a month before the 0pc deal ends.”

Even with 0pc credit, there is a value to shifting debts each yr. Borrowers must review their budgets and see how they can invest less [see our 50 ways to conserve funds in 2014] or make a lot more funds, possibly by taking a 2nd job. Then all energy need to be targeted on having to pay down those credit score cards as speedily as feasible.

As tempting as it may be, borrowers need to definitely keep away from utilizing a payday loan . Last month, the government-backed Income Advice Service reported that above a million individuals would flip to payday loans to fund their Christmas purchasing. Equally, a large quantity of Britons will do the same to pay off debt incurred in excess of Christmas.

Taking these loans with enormous interest rates has also turn into far more popular with middle class Britons, struggling to balance their budget or willfully over-spending [read through Bryony Gordon’s confession] .

But borrowing from payday lenders like Wonga, Payday Uk and QuickQuid can be detrimental to your finances as the representative APR’s are skyhigh. Taking out a £400 loan with Wonga (5853pc APR) for one particular month will cost close to £119 in interest.

If taking out a loan is the only way you envisage acquiring out of debt, borrowing from a credit score union is substantially less costly than utilizing a standard payday loan. Credit score unions are economic suppliers that are owned and managed by their members. Most credit unions charge lower rates of interest – the London Mutual Credit Union delivers a payday loan with an annual curiosity rate of 27pc. On a £400 loan, interest would sum to all around £19 if you pay out back the loan in thirty days. Membership to credit score unions is restricted, generally geographically or by profession.

Alternatively, personalized loans – which can be costly – are great for these who want to borrow huge quantities of income. Sainsbury’s Financial institution is currently supplying the least expensive costs on the individual loan industry, charging 4.6pc on loans amongst £7,500 and £15,000. Borrowing £12,000 for 36 months will value £357 in month-to-month repayments, or £869 in interest over the complete daily life of the loan. More details: Sainsbury’s Loans

Even however it is constantly difficult to request your family for cash, consider borrowing from a relative if achievable, as this plainly won’t impact your credit score rating. You can set up a repayment prepare with them and agree to pay a certain quantity of curiosity – say 10pc APR. Borrowing £400 from them in a month would price you all around £3 in interest at this fee.

If you owe funds, the Credit Solutions Association – the body that represents debt collecting agents – ensures that debt collectors will not make contact with you for at least thirty days, presented you’ve sought debt help or you can present you are striving to repay the debts by yourself.

For cost-free debt tips , you can get in touch with Citizens Suggestions ( ) on 0300 500 5000 or National Debtline ( ) on 0808 808 4000 .