Facing up to Debt Day

Monday 14 January 2013 is D-day for hundreds of thousands of families – that’s D for Debt Day, the start of the week when the Christmas spending spree finally hits home.

Most credit card bills arrive mid-way through the month – and for many people it will be the first time they have faced up to their Christmas spending spree.

The December bills were probably thrown unopened into a drawer – far too uncomfortable to deal with while there was still more Christmas shopping to be done.  So all of that Christmas spending is set out in terrifying detail in the January bills - along with the extra charges for missing a December payment.

December’s pay will have evaporated in the face of New Year celebrations and those unmissable bargains in the sales. And then there are those payday loans which were taken out to cover the cost of Christmas.  If the borrower didn’t manage to pay them back from their December pay – or simply forgot about them in the hustle and bustle of the holidays – then they are faced with spiralling debts as the loans are rolled over, charges are added and interest payments rack up.

Debt Advice Foundation's Linda Isted, explained: “Every year, debt advisers see a clear pattern, as people go into denial before Christmas.  They close their eyes to their debts, any budget goes out of the window and they decide not to think about their finances until the New Year.   Calls to debt advisers always reduce in December, but then flood back in come January.

“The week from the 14th onwards is usually the worst.  People are running out of money, the credit and store card bills are hitting the doormats and inboxes, the overdraft is piling up, and that’s before any winter emergencies hit.

“We urge people to take some time to take a serious look at their finances.  They need to work out just how much debt they have run up and how much of a problem they are facing.  Our debt advisers will be on hand to help anyone who is struggling with their debts, and they will be able to support people as they start down the road towards getting their finances in order.”