The UK cities most likely to struggle to repay Christmas spending

Brits in Motherwell, Scotland could struggle to pay off Christmas debt this year. Photo: Anthony Tran/Unsplash

People in Motherwell, Scotland, are most likely to struggle with repaying their Christmas spending in the New Year, research shows.

Based on analysis of over eight million users, ClearScore found the places in the UK that are most at risk when it comes to repaying Christmas debt.

Motherwell topped the list this year, followed by Kilmarnock and Kirkcaldy, both also in Scotland, in second and third place.

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Durham and Darlington in north-east England came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

By comparison, the research found those in the Isle of Man and Jersey are the least vulnerable.

When asked about their plans for repaying their Christmas spending, only 7% of people said they plan to take out a new credit card in January, yet 15% will rely on a card they’ve had for an average of five years, risking paying over the odds in interest repayments on their balance.

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This could be down to the fact that 40% of people said that they find it difficult to choose the best credit card that will help them save money.

Using the wrong card can have a significant impact. Based on an average Christmas spend of £3,600, if a consumer only pays the minimum payment on their credit every month, they could see a further £620 added to their Christmas bill, rising to an alarming £1,403 if they had the highest interest rate credit card currently in the market.

ClearScore said: “It’s not one size fits all. The number of offers being advertised in January can be confusing — 45% of people say they feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of deals available. However, consumers shouldn’t be tempted to apply for the first deal they see.”

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“Using online checkers will allow consumers to find the best deals on credit cards and loans tailored to their situation and credit score.”

It’s a good idea to pay off the most expensive credit cards or any short-term loans first — those with the highest interest rate, ClearScore advised.

Justin Basini, CEO of ClearScore said: January can be a real financial pinch point for many people, but our data reveals that some areas will be more vulnerable to this than others.

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“No matter where you live, it’s important to take stock of your Christmas spending in the New Year and make sure you’re not paying over the odds for credit — whether that’s paying down your most expensive debts first or switching to credit products with a lower interest rate.

“Not doing so means you risk racking up unnecessary extra interest costs and doing damage to your credit score.”