Four million people intend to take out a payday loan to cover the cost of Christmas, despite a cut in the average budget for festive spending.
The pressures of Christmas spending will drive 8pc of adults into taking out a payday loan , according to research by R3 the insolvency trade body.
This is despite the fact that half of consumers will be giving fewer presents this Christmas than last year. Many will also be receiving fewer presents as they strike "I won't buy you anything, so don’t buy me anything" deals with friends and family.
Louise Brittain of R3 said: “I am worried that so many individuals are intending to take a payday loan to cover the cost of Christmas. I would urge people to think again before taking out a high interest loan to pay for presents, partying or luxury food.
“Debt has been normalised, attributable in part to the clever marketing campaigns of the big payday lenders. These loan companies operate glossy websites and even sponsor football teams and are capitalising on a generational shift in attitudes towards saving and debt."
A separate survey found that just over half said they would be "calling it quits" with some of their friends or family members; not buying them anything on the understanding they wouldn’t buy anything in return. According to the research from MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, this was a question of saving money for 72pc, while 16pc put it down to "being less hassle".
Almost 80pc of Britons will not be buying presents for friends and family they would normally buy for. The majority put the decision down to cost, with 54pc saying that they could not afford to spend money on gifts this year.
The survey found that the average budget this Christmas was £230, compared with £350 in 2011.
Mark Pearson of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk said: “Times are tough, despite the fact we are now out of recession. That fact that people will be calling it quits with certain others on Christmas gifts this year doesn’t surprise me at all; it’s actually quite a good idea.”
• What's your story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org