Deep down we know that Christmas is all about ‘doing good unto others’ but in practice it’s less about goodwill to others and more about self-preservation. Whether that’s making sure there’s enough sherry to keep grandma happy, or being able to get everyone exactly what they asked for. Because the truth is, Christmas can be pretty stressful – so many expectations and only one day to meet them. So what’s the solution? Well, for us Brits, we simply spend our way through it.

Last year, we spent an average of £800 on Christmas, with most of that going on food and drink (we spend about £200 on pressies). With all those branches of the family tree coming together once a year, the pressure’s on to provide a spread that they’ll remember (with fond memories) until the next one.

But £800 on top of your everyday expenses is a lot of money and it’s not just about making sure you’ve got enough mince pies and Quality Street. Your home needs to be ‘Christmas ready’ with enough proper plates and cutlery for everyone (paper plates and plastic knives and forks are simply not good enough). So a personal loan could be the solution if you’re really in a pinch, and they aren’t always about borrowing heaps of money – you can borrow from as little as £1,000.

When you consider taking out any loan, it’s important to budget so that you know exactly how you’re going to pay it back – because there’s nothing more depressing than getting to Christmas and realising you still owe money for the last one.

Looking at the APR will let you compare loans but the APR you see may not be the APR you are offered, typically the best interest rates are offered to people with the highest credit scores and for higher loan amounts. Taking out a loan won’t be for everyone so it’s important to really understand what getting a loan is all about. Planned well, it can help you to get through the big day comfortably.

Like any big purchase, you should always do your research – which is why we’ve got the lowdown on some big name loan providers. Or, if you’re conscious that Christmas is just around the corner and want to get stuck in, then start comparing loans today.

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