Santa Claus’s gifts are «on loan» this year as people’s Christmas bonus will not go far toward meeting families’ needs. In fact, demand for consumer and Christmas loans has jumped by 300 percent compared to this time last year. Attractive terms and special offers in view of the holiday season, along with the extra «needs» families face at this time of year, has led many people down to see their local bank official. One major bank received 6,000 loan applications during the first five days of the offer in question. The average amount being requested has jumped from 2,000 to 3,000 euros last Christmas to around 6,000 euros this year, either because needs are greater or the cost of living has skyrocketed. People also prefer consumer loans to credit cards, and often use the former to pay off the latter, as the average consumer loan interest rate is about 12 percent, compared to 15 percent on credit card payments. The consumer institute INKA is warning people to be cautious with both credit cards and consumer loans, as any kind of borrowing can lead to trouble.