A fifth of East Midlands credit card debts run up this Christmas will still be unpaid by the time summer arrives – more than any other region – according to figures from GoCompare.
The product comparison site found that 51% of people expect to use credit cards for at least some of their Christmas shopping this year.
In the East Midlands, the average time to repay the bill in full should be around four months, but 22% of people expect to take anywhere from three to six months, and 20% expect to take even longer than that.
This puts the East Midlands way out in front on time taken to repay Christmas credit card debts; in the north-east and south-west, for instance, none of the respondents thought it would take them over six months to clear their card.
In fact, aside from the East Midlands, only the north-west, Yorkshire & the Humber, and West Midlands made it into double figures with 18%, 15% and 14% respectively expecting to take six months or more to pay their bill.
Matt Sanders, banking and credit card spokesman for GoCompare, said: “When putting Christmas spending on plastic cards, it’s important to remember that you are essentially borrowing money – so don’t spend more than you can afford to repay.
“Most cards come with an interest-free period of up to 59 days, so if you pay off your bill in full each month, you pay no interest.
“But if you can’t, card issuers add interest to your outstanding debt so the longer you take to repay your spending, the more money you will owe.”