Feeling Blue after Black Friday left you in the Red?

Black Friday: because only in America

people trample each other for sales

exactly one day after being thankful

for what they already have.

 (Anon)

There are a number of theories as to why the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is known as Black Friday.  For retailers it is an opportunity to tempt us to spend even more than we normally would at this time of year.  The bargains on offer often extend beyond Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) to Xmas itself.

However, you might end up paying more than you thought you had bargained for if you take out a payday loan, borrow money on your credit card or extend your overdraft to pay for goods.  Citizens Advice is encouraging consumers to think about the final costs before using credit to pay for presents and other festive (or even non-festive) goods. Using typical rates of interest and assuming that any sums borrowed are paid back after three months:

–                a self-balancing scooter ‘hoverboard’ priced at £299 could end up costing £514 using a payday loan or £344 on an overdraft

–                a toy retailing at £92 could cost £158 using a payday loan or £105 on an overdraft,

–                a 50 ml bottle perfume that retails at £44.50 could cost £76 on a payday loan.

There are undoubtedly savings to be made during the Black Friday period, so it is worth shopping around, researching deals on offer and getting advice.  However it is important to add in the cost of borrowing and calculating the total amount you will have to repay when borrowing money. A shorter repayment period may be better than a slightly lower Annual Percentage Rate (APR) amount.

Perhaps most importantly, never borrow money on the spur of the moment however tempting the retailer’s offer and think about payment options beforehand. Work out your budget and stick to it so that you can afford the repayments.  It is also important to be careful about borrowing more money to pay off existing debts. While additional borrowing can seem like a good idea and may well help in the short-term it can often lead to more serious problems in the long term.

Remember Christmas on credit can cause a debt hangover.

If you are thinking thinking about turning to credit to help pay for Christmas it is important you understand the full costs involved and if you can actually afford to pay it back.  If you are worried about your finances you should consider seeking advice before taking on credit to avoid starting 2016 in debt.

For advice on how to manage debt and to get information and advice on Benefits, Work, Consumer Issues, Relationships, Housing, Law and Rights, Education, Discrimination, Tax and Healthcare you can:

–                call 0344 848 7969 to speak to an assessor or make an appointment to talk to an adviser face-to face. (calls to this service cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers included as part of a mobile allowance or a landline call package.

–                visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ to access our comprehensive range of information and advice,

–                visit https://waverleycab.org.uk/ to find out what’s happening at Citizens Advice Waverley

–                or follow us on Twitter @ Waverley CAB

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