Consumers face post-Christmas debt hangover in January - Carrington Dean

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Consumers face post-Christmas debt hangover in January

More than one in ten Scots households preparing to open bills with payment demands for Christmas spending sprees, have yet to pay off debts they ran up the previous Christmas, according to a consumer poll.

The poll by Debt Advisory Centre Scotland showed that 12% of people still have outstanding debts from Christmas 2013 spending, with one-third owing more than £500.

The findings support evidence of a wider trend in consumer appetite to take on more credit as official data from the Office of National Statistics showed that consumer credit rose by £1.3 billion in November 2014, the largest increase for six years.

The rise in consumer credit amounts to £5,800 per UK household. For households already struggling to make ends meet, escalating interest and charges on credit cards and other forms of debt can cause significant stress and anxiety.

For people in this situation, seeking expert advice on options which would enable them to restructure, repay or writedown unmanageable debt is advisable.