Alternative to pricey payday loans
28 December 2013 Last updated at 08:46 GMT
Payday lenders have been subject to fierce criticism in 2013, with politicians, religious leaders and campaigners questioning their conduct and calling for tougher regulation.
But despite this, it is estimated that the number of people planning to pay for Christmas with a payday loan rose by almost a fifth.
John Maguire has been to Cumbria to find out about a new credit union that is trying to take on the high-interest lenders.