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'Think' before using store cards for Christmas spending

In the run-up to Christmas, consumers should think twice before using store cards for their gift shopping, independent financial adviser AWD Chase de Vere has warned.Savings manager Susan Hannums advised people to avoid tempting store cards that offer on-the-spot discounts, unless they know they can pay them off immediately and avoid the crippling interest that can accrue. Research from Credit Action shows that total UK personal debt has exceeded £1.25 trillion and is growing at a rate of £1 million every four minutes, with the average interest paid by each household on their total debt standing at £3,327 a year. Ms Hannums said: "My advice is to avoid store cards unless you are savvy and know you'll pay them off immediately or certainly before you're hit with interest payments."The interest rates on store cards are notoriously high so unless you pay them off straight away you could soon negate any special offer or discount you received by taking one out."

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