How Long Does It Take to Pay off Holiday Debt?

How Long Does It Take to Pay off Holiday Debt?

November 29, 2018         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Over 165 million Americans went shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, setting sales records each day. And there are still nearly four weeks of shopping left before Christmas. Many consumers are at risk of going into debt.  How long will it take to pay off holiday debt?

According to a new survey from Swagbucks, 63% of Americans go into debt during the holidays. One-quarter of consumers incur holiday debt of at least $500.

Of those consumers that incur holiday debt, 32% say they plan to pay it off in less than a month while another 32% say they will wipe it out in one to three months.

While paying for holiday gifts over Thanksgiving, 72% of respondents used cash or a debit card, 64% used credit cards and 27% used PayPal. Nearly half (44%) said they used two credit cards to cover their transactions.

Tips for Repaying Holiday Debt

If you have an outstanding credit card bill from this holiday shopping season, here are some tips to help you pay it off:

  • Apply the rewards you’ve earned toward a statement credit, if applicable. You can also see if your existing rewards will give you a discount on a gift you have left to purchase. This will save you from adding to your existing debt.
  • Don’t waste your holiday bonus checks. If you are getting a bonus from your employer, use it to cover a portion of your debt.
  • Sell items you no longer need. This is a great time to clear clutter from your house and earn extra cash to pay for holiday debts.
  • Deal with debt repayment as if it was a bill. If you want to pay $100 a month for the next four months, put that in your calendar. Commit to that monthly payment regardless of the minimum payment required.
  • Stick with your current gift list. If you still have purchases to make, only buy the gifts you absolutely need to. Those last minute “must-haves” can quickly add to your holiday debt.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 29, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue
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