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People 'Becoming Financially aware'

Nov 14, 2007
Britons are becoming more responsible when it comes to managing their finances, an industry expert has asserted.

Speaking earlier this week, James Falla, director of Thomas Charles, reported that consumers are becoming more conscious of the effects on their money management that shopping with store and credit cards can have. He pointed out that the rates of interest attached to such plastic cards are "very, very high" and are among the most expensive levels of all types of borrowing.

Mr Falla also pointed out that a number of consumers are looking towards taking out a personal loan as a means of debt consolidation to help them get out of the red. In addition, he claimed people are beginning to recognise the need to change their spending habits when aiming to get in a more favourable financial standing. However, the director urged those who have taken out a loan to take care that they do not get back into debt once more.

He said: "It's no good just thinking that you can solve your debt problem by just getting a personal loan and then continuing to spend on the credit cards because you end up with a personal loan and credit cards. I actually think that people are starting to wake up a little bit, to take a little bit more responsibility for their spending - particularly with everything going on around them [within] the financial environment. People are starting to think: 'What am I going to do when it comes to paying this back?'"

The spokesperson also pointed out that the main reason for why many people develop unmanageable debt difficulties is because they fail to fully understand the demands on their spending. As a result, he advised that taking the time right now to sit down and work out their personal finances ahead of Christmas could see Britons find their monetary situation is in a "very good stage for the new year". Mr Falla also pointed out that such planning may help consumers avoid making a fiscal mistake in the present which will see them make repayments for years to come.

His comments come after research carried out by Thomas Charles, commissioned by YouGov, showed that 15 per cent of Britons are in serious debt problems, in which they owe at least 10,000 pounds via personal loans, plastic cards and other types of borrowing. Meanwhile, a quarter of consumers are set to avoid spending with credit cards during the festive season. The study also indicated that men generally are further in the red than women.

Although he reported that this time of year is often financially stressful, people are already looking to take steps in reducing their expenditure particularly through expensive methods such as credit cards. The director noted that consumers are beginning to realise that they can no longer splash out "willy nilly". Such a decrease in spending was attributed to many people's monetary standing becoming "tighter", as well as the impact of the recent credit crunch which has seen a number of lenders increase the interest rates attached to personal loans and other borrowing products as well as using stricter criteria when judging whether or not to grant consumers credit.

As a result those consumers who are concerned about their ability to manage their finances and are looking to get their spending under control ahead of the Christmas period may wish to take out a debt consolidation loan which could well leave them with more disposable income at the end of each month. However, upon receiving such a loan borrowers should look to ensure that they do not get themselves back into the red and always make repayments. Speaking on BBC One's Lunchtime News programme earlier this year, Peter Tutton from Citizens Advice warned that although most people can afford to take out loans and other types of borrowing, consumers can develop financial difficulties should they receive a demand for payment on something such as a utility bill which is larger than they had first anticipated.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans where visitors can apply online for cheap personal loans. We also specialise in online tenant loans, and secured home loans.
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