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Almost one in three adults in the North West expect to take on debt to pay for Christmas 2014, according to research by R3, the insolvency trade body.

The survey shows that 31% of people in the region expect to borrow to cover the extra costs using means including credit cards, overdrafts and store cards.

This compares to of 27% in Great Britain as a whole. Of these, 11% plan to skip other spending commitments, like mortgage payments, while another 10% plan to take out a new credit card, and 8% expect to need a payday loan. 2% say they may turn to an unofficial lender.

R3 and ComRes polled a representative sample of 2,054 British adults including 196 from the North West in compiling the above data.

Richard Wolff, who is North West chair of R3 and also Head of Corporate Recovery and Insolvency at JMW Solicitors, says: “Taking on debt is fine so long as it’s affordable and people have a plan for how to pay the debt back.

“What’s worrying is the number of people planning to use loans that might come with a ‘sting in the tail’. Payday loans or loans from unregulated lenders can result in the borrower paying back far more than the original sum.

“Paying for Christmas by not meeting certain liabilities, like mortgage payments, could have serious ramifications. It will hurt credit ratings, making it harder to borrow in future, and could lead to greater problems if interest payments and penalty charges mount up.”