Borrowing on credit cards, loans and overdrafts has overtaken the amount people are paying back for the first time since June.
The BBC reports how, according to the Bank of England, unsecured consumer credit rose £52 million in December.
Andrew Goodwin from Ernst and Young says that "The small increase in consumer credit is likely to be connected to consumers bringing forward purchases to avoid the VAT increase and a relapse is likely next month".
The trend during the downturn has been for people to pay off debts, often instead of saving when interest rates are low.
Brian Morris from BSA says "Savers continue to face difficult conditions while the Bank Rate remains at such a low level, especially with inflation returning in the near term".