Christmas debt hangover

Christmas debt hangover

Christmas debt hangover

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Christmas has left almost nine in 10 in debt - and roughly half will still be paying it off when the tinsel comes out next year.

The average festive financial hangover adds up to a whopping £2,400 after people relied on their credit card to splash out on gifts, food, booze and decorations, a study shows.

An alarming 87% will ring in the New Year in the red, with 47% expecting this to remain the case throughout 2016.

Two in three admit they are concerned about how much they owe, with one in 10 extremely worried.

On average, those struggling think they will take 17 months to get back in the black, with six per cent saying they cannot ever imagine being debt free.

Nicolas Frankcom, money expert at price comparison website uSwitch.com which carried out the survey of almost 4,000 adults, said: “At this time of the year money worries are weighing heavily on a lot of people’s minds.

“Overspending during the festive period will leave many with a financial hangover, but they cannot afford to stick their head in the sand.

“By taking a quick look at their finances, consumers could save a considerable amount of money - and start taking steps to get back into the black.

“Balance transfer cards with an interest-free period could be a lifeline for those needing some breathing space from debt.”

He said shifting the average debt of £2,400 to a 0% balance transfer card could save £380 over the course of a year in interest fees alone, even after paying an average transfer fee.

Furthermore, consumers could be £1,125 better off in a year by switching their home services and financial products with uSwitch.com.

Mr Frankcom said: “Those looking to transfer should do their research to find the right card by looking carefully at any transfer fees, not just the length of the 0% offer.

“It is not just card debt though, shopping around for the best deals on things like energy, broadband, insurance and mobile phone tariffs could help consumers save over £1,000.”

Those worried about their debt were also urged to contact charities such as StepChange Debt Charity or the Money Advice Service.

Added Mr Frankcom: “If you cannot see a way out of your current level of debt there is help out there. Contact StepChange Debt Charity or the Money Advice Service for free and impartial advice to get your debt under control.”