Many Britons will start 2017 with both a debt- and alcohol-induced hangover after using credit cards to fund Christmas celebrations, according to new research.
Some 85% of people surveyed by uSwitch said they would be paying off credit cards into next year. Just over half believe they will still be settling up for this Christmas when the next festive season rolls around. People will carry an average £636 on credit cards into 2017. Price comparison site uSwitch questioned 1,261 adults and found that 65% of them are concerned about their level of debt. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has already warned about high debt levels within British households, after it emerged in November that credit card debt had reached record levels.
According to the people questioned by uSwitch, 19% spent beyond their means over the festive periods. A quarter did so to capture the “magic of Christmas”. When respondents were asked why they had spent more than their finances allowed, 30% said it was because Christmas was more expensive this year, while 18% said it was because it was expected. At the same time, 9.1% candidly admitted that they did so “because of competition from other family members/friends”.