Last year’s Christmas hangover lingers on

Christmas may be just a few weeks away, but millions of people are still paying off their debts from last year’s festivities.

About one in 10 adults still has some debt left over from last Christmas – and with a third of people expecting to use some form of credit this time around, there are fears the forthcoming festive season could lead to serious debt problems.

The age group most seriously affected by legacy debt from last Christmas are 25 to 34-year-olds, according to research commissioned by a debt-management company. About 20% of people in this age group are apparently yet to pay off last year’s bills.

The Debt Advisory Centre (DAC) also found that more people borrowed ahead of last Christmas than did so in 2012, and that nearly a quarter of those who haven’t cleared 2013’s bills still have at least £1,000 to repay.

“Christmas can be an expensive time of year, what with all the presents, cooking and travel most of us indulge in,” said the DAC’s Ian Williams.

“For many people, the excess quickly becomes excessive spending and they are tempted to turn to credit to cover the cost.

“However, to still be repaying this borrowing nearly a year later is worrying – particularly if people plan to borrow again this Christmas.

“If you’re already juggling debts built up last year and are planning to borrow again this year – if you can – because your finances are too stretched to cover the expense of the festive period, it might be time to seek professional debt advice.”