CHARLES GRAHAM - Avoid the Christmas debt spiral

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EVERYWHERE you look the news is grim. Euro in meltdown, job loss epidemic, despair for school-leavers, soaring bills, wages cut and dwindling amounts of money in our pockets.

These are not the kind of tidings to hear when facing up to that traditional cash splurge that used to be the religious festival of Christmas.

Restraint is difficult when all around seem to lose their heads in a welter of unaffordable purchasing (cash-strapped retailers will no doubt be praying this continues in the coming weeks).

Indeed a report was published this week which suggests that many Britons plan to take out short-term, high-interest loans to get them through the next month.

But this is not the way to go about things and we are beginning to see that a lot of people, not just in Britain but around the world, are learning a hard lesson about having to live within their means.

And I was pleased to see that one of the borough’s credit unions on the recruitment trail in our paper this week. After all those who are looking for very reasonable terms, including on loans, could do a lot worse than try out one of these organisations.

Over the last 20 years they have saved countless Wiganers from a debt spiral, bailiffs, loan sharks and bankruptcies.

Anyone of limited means, and there are more out there than for many a moon, would be well advised to become customers than lumber themselves with more debt.