This is the alarm sounded by the Personal Finance Society just as households are receiving their credit card bills, revealing the debt they have racked up over the festive period. It points to a 'perfect storm' of factors driving borrowers to the edge, including a continued love affair with expensive credit cards.
The big short: Carillion's downfall has left thousands licking their wounds, while a small band of City operators made millions in profits
Sharp hedge fund investors cashed in on Carillion's woes by placing massive bets on the company's failure, our special report has revealed. The so-called short-sellers, who have hauled in profits following the collapse in the share price, include Marshall Wace, the hedge fund founded by Brexiteer Sir Paul Marshall. It held the largest short position in the firm last summer.
MIDAS SHARE TIPS: The high street is changing and it's survival of the smartest - so which shops will thrive?
More of us are shopping online. Last month, there was a 3.5% annual decline in footfall on the high street. We take a look at the shops who could still thrive, despite the gloom - and others who have a worrying future. Included in the round-up are M&S, Debenhams, Mothercare, B&M and Joules.
Finished sales shopping? Now it's time for financial bargains - from credit cards to mortgages, start the new year saving money
Bargain-hunters are still scouring the shops in the hope of picking up discounted clothes, gadgets and white goods in this month's sales. But banks and other financial institutions are also getting in on the act, launching special deals on a range of products. If you are looking to take out a new current account, savings account, loan, credit card or mortgage
'I felt a fool losing £500': How fraud and hacking have officially become the number one crime in Britain...
Official figures due out this week will show that fraud and hacking is now the most common crime in England and Wales. Reported cases of fraud are running at a frightening two million a year - with a staggering £2m a day being lost to criminals.MPs on the Public Accounts Committee recently concluded that Government, the financial services industry and the police are failing to keep pace.
The zero-emissions hatchback will, Nissan says, travel 50 per cent further, deliver 38 per cent more power, and cost up to £1,500 less than the original. But does it live up to the high-voltage hype? This is the real deal; designed for the real world, less than £30,000, and a smart car that owes much to a new 'pedal power' system.
Should you copy hedge funds and sell Debenhams? Short sellers cleaned up with Carillion... here's who's tipped to topple next
Hedge funds are tipping the share prices of Debenhams, Sainsbury's and pet supplies chain Pets At Home to plummet as the High Street continues its struggle against online competition. They can make hundreds of millions - or even billions - of pounds by betting that the businesses' share prices will fall.
I stuck all my money in cryptocurrency but still don't understand it, says JOE WHITWELL (...and he had to sell his ethereum to buy breakfast)
Joe split his £600 savings between bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. However, several weeks later and sitting on a loss he still has no idea what they are and how they work. He has a suspicion, though, that he is no more ignorant than the vast majority of people who have been buying into cryptocurrencies in recent months.
How safe is your final salary pension? SIMON LAMBERT on why savers should beware getting spooked and jumping ship
Britain's private pensions were once the envy of the world. Long gone are those days of widespread world-class final salary schemes, but many still have some promises due and they are worth holding on to. The problem is that many people are worried about how safe their company's pledge to pay them is.
Investors have been buoyed recently but markets in which everything seems to be going up, but that doesn't mean that they should not be more choosy about where to put their money in the year ahead. Ben Kumar, of 7IM, discusses the best places to invest for 2018 with Simon Lambert, of This is Money, and Richard Hunter, of Interactive Investor, on the latest Investing Show.
Used car buyers offered new car-style low monthly payments as RAC launches flexible loan that mimics PCP
Used car buyers are to be offered the low monthly payments usually seen on new car finance deals after the RAC launched a flexible loan that mimics PCP deals. Similar to the hugely popular personal contract plan finance used to sell brand new cars, the RAC's Flexiloan offers the chance to put a deposit down and get lower monthly payments over a set period thanks to a larger set deferred final payment.
Thanks to a successful turnaround masterminded by managing director James Daunt, Waterstones made £18m in profits up to end of April 2017 compared to £9.9m the previous year.(its first annual profit since the financial crisis). Six years after the books chain faced a terminal threat from the Kindle that cost it £100m in sales, it recorded £404million in revenues.
SMALL CAP MOVERS: Deltex Medical get the pulses racing with new US hospital contract; Greatland Gold slides after Newmont pulls plug on Australia project
Budget cuts within the NHS have crippled Deltex Medical in recent years, leading the blood-flow-monitoring technology firm to try and seek its fortune elsewhere. One territory where it has shifted its focus towards is the US and this week it secured a 'major' new hospital across the pond as a customer - news which sent the shares soaring. The hospital - supposedly among the top ten in the States - will now use Deltex's oesophageal Doppler monitoring probes after a successful trial period just before Christmas
INVESTMENT CLINIC: Should I buy more of Shell with its 5.7% dividend and what's the difference between A and B shares?
One of the major attractions of Shell is that it pays a good level of income to shareholders. At the moment it is paying 5.7 pence for every £1 invested. Much of Shell's future success is tied to the price of oil, which plummeted to less than $30 (£22) a barrel in 2016 but has since recovered to nearly $70 (£50.80).
Is the open banking revolution a fraudster's charter? Our guide to keeping your money safe as new rules share your details
Under new laws, you can now ask your current account provider to share details of your income, spending habits and debts with third-party internet companies. You are also now allowed to hand over your password and log-in details to these firms. The idea is that the third party can save you money by helping you budget or shop around for cheap deals.
'It felt like a burglary had taken place': Couple horrified after energy supplier broke in and changed the locks when a former tenant failed to pay £227 bill
James Mant, 44, and Victoria Parsons, 41, have filed a claim against Scottish Power after a year-long struggle following the break-in at their home in Whiteley, Hampshire. The company installed a prepaid gas meter during the break-in - even though it hadn't supplied gas to the home since 2015 and the unpaid bill related to electricity usage. Scottish Power has apologised for the distress and says it made a 'genuine error'.
The £150,000 Land Rover: Iconic Defender is revived with a limited run of just 150 reborn classic 4x4s
Just when you thought it was gone forever, Land Rover's classic Defender has bounced back from the dead with a collectors' edition run of 150 reborn models starting at a hefty £150,000. Jaguar Land Rover's Classic division is to fit 5.0 litre V8 engines to a selection of reincarnated, re-engineered and refurbished Defenders to produce 'the most powerful and fastest ever created', capable of accelerating from rest to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds.
Of those babyboomers surveyed, 56% said that they wanted to keep hold of their hard earned cash instead of passing it on to someone else, and 62% said that the money was 'there to be spent'. This is despite one in 20 people saying they are relying on their parent's cash, with one in ten complaining that their parents are having too much fun with their 'inheritance'
The cryptocurrencies that could boom in 2018: Ripple, litecoin and five more upstarts hoping to follow in bitcoin's footsteps (and why buyers must beware)
Bitcoin and ethereum really took off last year, leaving many feeling that they've missed the bandwagon. So what are the other cryptocurrencies that could boom? Or are they more likely to bust? We look at some of the alternatives, including ripple, and Iota. But watch out - cryptocurrencies are volatile, complex, and there is a risk of losing a lot of the money you put in.
How to get the money you need for the lifestyle you want: Entrepreneur and multi-millionaire Rob Moore shares his tips
Rob Moore started out with nothing, got into a lot of debt - and now 11 years on owns and manages 720 properties and employs over 200 staff. So what's the trick? On this episode of the Big Money Questions, Rob explains how he did it and his tips for getting the income that you need for the lifestyle that you want. He shares his own experiences, but also the guidance that he has gleaned in his study of successful entrepreneurs over the years.
THIS IS MONEY'S FIVE OF THE BEST SAVINGS DEALS
Aldermore pays 1.8% interest on its one-year fixed rate account. Interest can be payed monthly or yearly. It requires a minimum deposit of £1,000.
The AA pays a top rate of 1.32% AER on its easy access account. The account comes with a 12-month 1.12% rate bonus so remember to find a better account before the rate drops. Minimum deposit is £100.
Masthaven Bank pays 1.85% AER interest on its 18-month fixed rate savings account. The minimum deposit is £500.
Sainsbury's Bank pays 1.15% AER variable interest on its easy access Cash Isa. The account requires a minimum balance of £500 and comes with no temporary bonus
RCI Bank pays 1.3% AER variable interest on its easy access deal. Deposits in its Freedom Savings Account have no FSCS protection, but you are covered for up to €100,000 by the French equivalent (FGDR).
50 ways to save money: Simple steps to cut what you spend that could clear your debts or seriously boost your savings
To clear the average national household debt of £13,000 at 6% interest with a monthly repayment of £100 will take around 17 years. There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt - or boost your savings - in less than a year. This is Money's top 50 - updated - money-saving tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious.
The amount you can save into a pension ultimately depends on what you can afford - but the longer you leave it the more you will need to save. We tend to put ambitious targets on our hoped-for income in retirement and then underestimate how much we will need to set aside to achieve that. So how much should you save?
Borrowers are being offered a raft of cheap fixed rate mortgages as lenders attempt to lure them into remortgaging or buying a home. But HSBC has decided to buck the trend and launch a new rate mortgage that is a tracker instead. We pick out the best fixed and tracker rate mortgages and look at what next for rates.
For many buy-to-let looks an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Climbing house prices, rising rents and improving mortgage deals are tempting investors - although they will need a big deposit. Read This is Money's top ten buy-to-let tips
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