More than a third of parents in Northern Ireland have got into debt due to back-to-school costs, a survey showed.
According to an Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) study, a similar number were forced to deny items like new shoes or extra-curricular activities because they couldn't afford them.
The online survey of 147 parents carried out in June 2017 showed that average level of debt ran to almost £300.
As a result, some parents turned to pay day loan companies with high interest rates.
The study also showed that, on average, parents pay £754 per child at primary school and £1,160 per child at secondary school.
Paul Bailey, head of marketing and communications at the ILCU, said: "We are seeing increasing numbers of parents saying they are in debt, and a rise in the numbers saying they are turning to doorstep lenders and payday loan companies.
He continued: "I would really encourage these parents to talk to their local credit union even where they feel they have a poor credit history."