Majority used debt to pay for Christmas, figures show

According to new research, well over half of us used store and credit card debt to fund Christmas.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th January 2012, 2:48 am

The average consumer using a store and credit card built up an extra £510 of debt to pay for festive purchases.

For one in 20 using debt this figure was actually £1,000 or more.

The study of 1,000 adults nationwide, by home shopping firm Kleeneze, also found that many of us didn’t expect to pay Christmas debt back any time soon.

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The average time we expected to take to repay debt brought about by Christmas spends was just over five months .

Worryingly, more than one in five anticipated taking 12 months or longer.

When asked what we’d do if we found ourselves in financial difficulty, the following were listed as our first course of action:

1. Cut back on spending on non-essential items

2. Consider taking on part time work to supplement your income

3. Speak to a professional financial advisor for guidance

4. Borrow from friends and family

5. Take out a short-term loan

6. Apply for a long-term loan

Jamie Stewart of Kleeneze, said: “Taking more than 12 months to pay back Christmas debt could lead to a vicious cycle that is hard to recover from. Our survey showed most people were prepared to take corrective action to stop this from happening by either reducing spending on non-essential items or taking a second job.

“It’s important people act now and address any debt problems they have rather than waiting for them to reach breaking point before they do anything about it.”