West Yorkshire tops Christmas borrowing poll

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The average cost of Christmas for people across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire is expected to be £463.83

People in West Yorkshire are more likely to borrow to cover the cost of Christmas this year than those in other parts of the region, a survey suggests.

The figures indicate 15% of people may resort to the option, more than twice the level in North Yorkshire.

The average festive spend in West Yorkshire is expected to be £434.19.

Across Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, 50% of those surveyed for the BBC said they were very or fairly concerned about their festive spending.

Concern is highest among those aged 18-34 and those with children under 18.

The survey suggests 15% of people in West Yorkshire may turn to borrowing compared to 13% in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, 7% in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, 7% in Lincolnshire and 6% in North Yorkshire.

Some 4% of people in West Yorkshire said they would definitely need to borrow money while 11% said they may need to borrow money.

Many will pay for presents, food and drink using credit cards but some say they will be forced to take out a loan.

'Financial hangover'

Jane Symonds, money expert at the Money Advice Service said: "Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but it's important to know that you don't have to live beyond your means to make it a fun time. A big financial hangover is the last thing anyone wants to start the new year with.

"Planning ahead by looking carefully at costs will help you to take control of your spending and reduce some of the pressure. It's best to avoid credit if you can, but if you need to borrow there are more options if you think ahead."

Across all areas surveyed of those planning to borrow, 68% said they would use their credit card, 18% plan to ask friends and family for help, 18% will use their overdraft, 6% will go to a pay-day lender, 6% will take out a loan, and 2% say they will go to a credit union.

On average, people said they expected to borrow about £180.

On average, men said they were likely to borrow £214.76 while women said they expected to borrow about £146.36.

More than half of all borrowers said it would take them between a few weeks to a year to repay their debt.

Kevin Peachey, personal finance reporter, BBC News

Financial advisers say it is never too late to draw up a budget for your Christmas spending.

Those who get into trouble often forget to factor in those little extras that add to the festive bill.

So, as well as presents, food and travel, advisers urge families not to ignore the cost of replacing decorations, calling relatives and even taking the children to Santa's grotto.

They suggest shopping around on the internet for all these things to get the best deal.

Those who turn to credit may be deferring the pain, but missing repayments in the new year could start or continue a debt spiral that may be difficult to pull out of.

Instead, advisers say, keep things under control this year, and start saving now to bring some Christmas 2015 cheer to your family and your finances.

Market research agency ComRes interviewed 1,270 people across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, of which 501 were in West Yorkshire, 305 were in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, 335 in North Yorkshire, 179 in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire and 189 in Lincolnshire.

The online survey was carried out for BBC Radio Leeds between 27 November and 1 December.

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