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Festive debt set to linger

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Some credit card holders expect Christmas debt to remain on their plastic for up to a year, research from Sainsbury’s Finance has revealed.

The latest figures from the personal finance arm of the supermarket chain showed 61% of people expect to clear their credit card debts from Christmas shopping within one month. However, some 483,000 people (1%) expect it will take more than a year and 2.86 million people (7%) expect such debt to remain on their cards for four to six months. A further 12% of people are unsure of when they will clear this debt at all.

Donald MacLeod, head of cards at Sainsbury’s, said: “We estimate that around 18% of Christmas spending was placed on credit cards. Our research indicates that around 8.6 million people intended to put half or more of their festive spending on cards.

“Those Yule-time shoppers who anticipate being unable to clear their credit card bills by the end of this month should consider spreading the cost and transferring their balance to a new card that offers 0% APR on balance transfers so as to avoid incurring any unnecessary interest.”

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