Gregory Pennington

December 23, 2010 12:37 ET

Don't let the Christmas rush land you with debt problems

Debt management company Gregory Pennington advises shoppers to be careful with their finances as Christmas approaches, especially those spending on credit.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 23, 2010) -

Debt management company Gregory Pennington has advised shoppers to be careful with their finances as Christmas approaches, after research by Sainsbury's Finance suggested that £1.9 billion could be spent on credit cards in the final week before the 25th.

Consumers will spend a combined £6.7 billion overall this week, according to the report, £2.1 billion of which will be spent on food and drink. £2.4 billion will go on presents, while £560 million will go on electrical items such as TVs.

11 million people plan on putting half or more of their last-dash spending on their credit cards, while 8.4 million will put more than 80% on their cards.

An expert at debt management company Gregory Pennington said:

"With most people spending a lot more than usual in the run-up to Christmas, it's no wonder that many will be turning to their credit cards and overdrafts to tide them over. There's really no problem with this in itself, as long as the repayments are affordable.

"However, people should remember that any debt will need to be paid back, and they will need to make appropriate arrangements for doing just that over the next few months. The sooner they can do this, the less it will cost in interest overall.

"Ideally, anyone spending on a credit card should only spend what they can afford to pay back before interest is charged. This isn't realistic for everyone, of course, and those who will take a little longer with their repayments should try to make sure it's cleared as soon as possible, taking into account other commitments.

"Those with 0% interest credit cards won't have to worry about this as much, but they should still have a good idea about when they will pay back what they owe - preferably before the interest-free period ends.

"Inevitably there will be some people who find themselves unable to repay their debt, for various reasons. Anyone in that situation should seek expert advice as soon as they can."

Notes to Editors

Gregory Pennington currently helps over 50,000 people repay their debts through its Debt Management Plan. The company is part of the Think Money Group, one of the UK's leading financial solutions providers.

Gregory Pennington is a founding member of DEMSA, the Debt Managers Standards Association, which was established in 2000 'to promote good practice in the debt management industry'. DEMSA's code of conduct has received Office of Fair Trading approval, under its Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.

For more information, visit the Gregory Pennington website at http://www.gregorypennington.com/.

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