Money tight at Christmas - Don't get bitten by a Loan Shark
20th December 2011
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If you haven’t got it, then do not spend it – easy to say, harder to do, especially at this time of year with the pressures of family and friends wanting that bling present for Christmas.

So if you do find yourself a bit short before payday, how can you make ends meet?

For some, the only answer they can think of is resorting to a payday loan or loan sharks, but these are fraught with problems. Let’s face it, the name of the latter alone should put you off in the first place, because if you use one and fail to pay back what you have borrowed, the shark’s teeth will bite down hard and for some time, which could leave a nasty scar on more than your credit rating.

It is hard for those of us who have access to credit to understand why anyone would go to a loan shark, but desperation can make us all do unusual things. The trick is to try and prevent a situation getting that desperate.

Many of us will get paid early for Christmas, which will help you to have festivities with bells on, but the payback is a longer time for that paycheque to last into January, when your overspending on presents is going to come home to roost. At this stage, it may be tempting to think about using a payday loans company to bridge the gap.

But be warned – some of these companies charge more than 4,000 per cent APR on borrowing not paid back on time. For example a short 15-day loan from a well-known provider for just £100 will cost you £119.50 if paid back on time, and 4,214 per cent APR if you are late in repaying.

Sounds obscene, right? How can it be allowed? Well, the reality is that these loans are designed for people who are going to borrow and pay back a small amount in a short time. Do not even think about using a payday loan as a long term method of borrowing money, you will make your situation a whole lot worse.

Still, that said, it is expected that 3.5m people will take out a payday loan in the next six months, according to research from R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Sadly, nearly two thirds of those who take this action regret it, and half feel it makes their financial position worse. As with any type of loan, you need to make sure you do not become what R3 calls a ‘zombie debtor’ – where all you are doing is paying off the interest, rather than the loan itself.

Times are tough, there is no doubt about it, but there is help out there to improve your financial status. So cut back where you can now, and make your New Year’s resolution to gain pounds – financial ones that is – and get yourself a money make over and look forward to a brighter 2012 with an improved financial state. You can then take on the New Year with new vigour.

 For more information give Vincent Bond a call on 01372 822 808 or visit VINCENT BOND.

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