Don’t let Santa bring you debts

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Citizens Advice Scotland have published ten tips to help people avoid Christmas debt after a report found Scots were among the most likely in the UK to borrow money to pay for the festive season.

CAS head of policy Susan McPhee said: “With family incomes falling as prices rise, many people are finding it hard just to meet their normal household bills week after week. So Christmas shopping presents a particular challenge this year for many Scots.”

The tips are:

Don’t leave Christmas shopping to the last minute and put it all on your credit card.

Pay for goods in cash rather than on credit if you can.

If you are using credit, shop around for the best deal.

Read the small print of any credit agreement closely.

Beware of store cards – they’re usually more expensive.

Don’t run up an overdraft without talking to your bank.

Remember the New Year utility bills

Prioritise bills – mortgage/rent and gas/electricity first.

Check if there are benefits available you are not claiming.

If you do overspend, get help immediately.