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Credit Crunch Having 'Tangible Impact' On Consumer Spending

Dec 8, 2007
The credit crunch is beginning to make its impact felt upon consumer spending, new figures show.

In research carried out by GfK NOP on behalf of Bradford & Bingley, the diminishing availability of cheap loans and other forms of competitively-priced credit has seen more people become concerned about their finances. The study indicates that as a result of the troubles witnessed by the wider economic market, just over a fifth (21 per cent) of Britons have become concerned about their level of borrowing through personal loans, credit cards and other means. In turn, such people are now taking steps to rein in their spending, with a low cost consolidation loan one possible way of doing this.

According to the findings, 11 per cent of those surveyed are planning to reduce their expenditure as a result of concerns that they may have to make higher repayments on their borrowing in coming weeks. Meanwhile, ten per cent claim that they are definitely going to spend less money and put more into saving accounts.

However, the study also indicated that a significant number of Britons could be placing themselves under further financial pressure. An estimated 40 per cent of consumers claimed that they are to carry on spending as normal, in spite of higher borrowing costs pushing up interest rates on loans and credit cards and predictions of a slowdown in the global economy. In particular, young people may be on track to experience the heaviest money management difficulties as a "staggering" 48 per cent of those under the age of 25 are "devoted" to spending money. It was reported that some 43 per cent of those in this age group state that their expenditure will remain at its present levels, despite the credit crunch.

Research also showed that this demographic is "most rash" when spending money, as some 15 per cent of these people claim that they buy items and think about the consequences of their expenditure later. This compares to a national average of six per cent. Meanwhile, about half of young Britons state that although they try to live within their means they sometimes overspend.

Paul Whitlock, head of savings at Bradford & Bingley, said: "It appears that the credit crunch is now having a tangible impact on consumer behaviour. There are still a number though, particularly among the under-25s, who are continuing to bury their heads in the sand and are not being deterred by the prospect of higher borrowing costs and a tougher credit environment. It's crucial now that they start heeding the warnings as the credit crunch is likely to bite well into next year."

Those concerned that the credit crunch will place them in an untenable financial position might wish to consider getting a debt consolidation loan. In applying for this type of product now, borrowers may find they are able to meet various demands on spending quickly and free up more disposable income. Such a loan could be of particular benefit to young people. Last month, research carried out by youth marketing agency Face showed that 16 to 25-year-olds owe an average amount of 5,500 pounds. About half of such consumers were also shown to have debts worth more than half of their annual income.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal Loans Shop, with information on bad credit loans and debt consolidation loans available on site.
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