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Shoreditch charity warns of dangers of overspending at Christmas.

PUBLISHED: 16:13 22 November 2011 | UPDATED: 10:24 25 November 2011

A debt-counselling charity which opened in Hackney this month has warned against overspending and the dangers of relying heavily on credit to fund Christmas.

Christians Against Poverty which is based ‘Church for the City,’ in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Shoreditch High Street , helps people with spiralling debts.

Their unique service offers home visits, where they will set a budget, contact creditors and offer holistic support until the client is debt free – often within five years.

They want people to do their Christmas shopping with a clear strategy without spending money they don’t have.

Hackney CAP centre manager Dumaeza Nhlapo said: “These are difficult times for a lot of us and the temptation is to say, ‘at least we’ll have a great Christmas’ and use that as an excuse to spend what we haven’t got.”

“If you’ve already caught yourself saying this, we want your alarm bells to be ringing loud and clear.”

“Over indulging on presents for everyone in a mile radius is no longer in fashion. “Most of us have seen our income squeezed significantly and will be scaling back so we mustn’t feel the pressure to over consume.”

Half of those with out-of-control debt who contact CAP have at some time taken out a loan to cover the cost of the festive season, according to the charity’s own national client statistics.

Many of those then went on to lose their homes, be unable to feed and clothe their children, suffer mental health problems and even consider suicide.

“We just want people to enjoy Christmas as the time of hope and celebration it ought to be and not herald the start of a terrible downward spiral,” added Mr Nhlapo.

To find out if CAP can help you with your debt, call 0800 328 0006 or visit www.capuk.org


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