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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Parents Relying on Credit Cards for Christmas Spending

A third of British parents will rely on credit cards for their Christmas spending this year, despite the fact that the same number are still paying back debt accrued from spending for Christmas 2016.

The latest research from comparison website Comparethemarket found that single parents were most likely to still be paying for last year?s presents, with 42 per cent of them still in debt from the previous Christmas. This compared to 30 per cent of married parents.

The Parentdex report polled 5,000 British parents, finding that they spent an average of ?353 on their credit cards for presents, but expected their spending total to reach an average of ?812 over the Christmas and New Year period as a whole.

This total includes ?259 on children?s gifts, ?136 on food, ?82 on drink, ?96 on family days out and ?81 travelling to see friends and relatives.

Extra spending on gas and electricity was expected to cost ?46, and ?14 would be donated to charities over the festive period.

It was found that mothers relied on their credit cards less than fathers, with just 28 per cent flashing the plastic leading up to Christmas, compared to 41 per cent of fathers.

Fathers also spent an average of ?376 on their credit cards for Christmas presents, compared to ?339 for mothers.

Single children had the most spent on them, with parent who had one child spending and average of ?316 on credit over Christmas. Parents with two children spent an average of ?350, and parents with three children ?412. For parents with four children the spend went up to ?514.

Shakila Hashmi of Comparethemarket said: ‘It is no surprise the Bank of England has raised concerns about the increasing levels of consumer debt.

‘Our research shows that parents are fuelling the credit boom by consistently failing to account for their Christmas spending year on year.’

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