Consumers borrowed £6.6 billion to fund Christmas 2019 – an average of £435 each of those who borrowed – according to new research from TSB, despite over half (58%) who said they wanted to borrow less over the course of the year.
A fifth (21%) say they overspent in 2019 and nearly three in ten (29%) say they spent more than they did during Christmas 2018. 38% leaned on credit to fund this spending, with 17% admitting they wouldn’t have been able to have the Christmas they wanted without it.
The average Brit will spread their debt throughout 2020, with 29% using credit cards with average monthly repayments of £48 to pay back the cost of Christmas. In some cases, borrowers have up to two (29%), three (13%) or four (5%) credit cards, further driving up the amount they need to pay.
This research comes at a time as TSB reduces its balance transfer fee to 1.45% across its Platinum and Classic credit cards during the first 90 days of account opening. TSB also offers its lowest personal loan rate on of 3.2% APR on balances between £7,500 and £25,000.
Craig Bundell, TSB Director of Everyday Banking said “Despite our best intentions, Christmas is an expensive time of year and we often end up spending far more than planned as we enjoy the festivities with family and friends. Credit cards and other forms of borrowing can be a vital lifetime in helping spread these costs yet can leave us with debt hangovers as we enter the new year.”
“Many of us are also unaware of the variety of options available that can help make debt repayment more manageable. Taking the time to shop around for the best deals or considering consolidating multiple credit cards with a personal loan can make a real difference.”
With the new year and new decade fully underway, the research reveals that nearly half (42%) of Brits are already worried about their personal finances for 2020.
20% of people with a loan or who have spent on a credit card say they are concerned about meeting their repayments, while over half (52%) say they worry about money at least monthly.
Bundell continues “At TSB we understand the festive financial fallout can be stressful, which is why we’re sharing top tips to help people better manage their money this January. It’s also why all our personal loans come with two payment holidays as standard, meaning our customers can take a break from repayments whenever they need, up to twice a year.”
The research highlights that many people are entering 2020 with good financial intentions. One in six (16%) want to feel more in control of their finances in the year ahead, while 18% want to cut back on their personal debt.
However, over half (56%) agree that the new year is a suitable time to catch up on personal admin and create personal finance goals such as saving more and spending less (49%).