Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt

Personal Finance


By most accounts, shoppers were feeling particularly festive this holiday season. All that spending can leave a nasty financial hangover.

Americans racked up an average of $1,054 of debt over the period, about 5 percent more than last year, according to MagnifyMoney’s annual post-holiday debt survey.

Only half of those surveyed said they plan to pay off their holiday-induced debt in three months or less. Of the remaining half, 29 percent said they will need five months or more.

For a shopper making a minimum payment of $25 a month on a $1,054 tab, that means it would take until 2023 to pay down the balance — and you’d also be coughing up $500 in interest over that time (assuming an annual percentage rate of 15.9 percent), MagnifyMoney said. The personal finance site surveyed nearly 700 adults from Dec. 21 to 26.

With that kind of burden, it’s no surprise that about three-quarters, or 74 percent, of Americans said they failed to budget properly for the holidays, according to a separate survey from Varo Money.

Nearly half, or 46 percent, of Americans said they plan to pay off their credit cards within a month after the holidays. Another 16 percent will need one to three months, that survey found. A full quarter of consumers said it will take more than six months to pay off their holiday spending. The mobile banking start-up polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults in November.



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