Credit Card Debt

1 in 3 Shoppers Still Paying Off Last Year’s Holiday Debt

Going into the 2021 holiday season, an estimated 29% of shoppers that used credit cards for purchases are still struggling to pay off holiday debt from last year.

Following a record amount of credit card debt payment from Americans in 2020, card balances have already risen again by around $17 billion in 2021. With holiday spending expected to reach a maximum height this year due to product shortages, it will be especially difficult for shoppers to keep up with holiday debt.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Tips for Paying Down Holiday Credit Card Debt

Now that the holidays are over, consumers are about to receive a New Year’s “surprise” in the form of a credit card statement. Those who already had a substantial balance on their credit cards, the extra holiday spending has only added to those balances. According to a report from credit bureau, Experian, the average credit card balance has climbed to $6,629.

You are probably wondering the next steps to take to pay down holiday debt before the interest starts mounting. We recommend taking a realistic approach in paying down the balance over the course of the first quarter of the year. By calendaring and planning out the payments, the cardholder can visualize the end goal of paying off the debt.

Credit Card Debt, Credit Score

Reasons to Check Your Credit Score Twice this Holiday Season

When it comes to monitoring a credit score, it is important to pay all bills on time and not max out a credit card when relying on one for holiday spending. However, another factor, known as the credit utilization ratio, plays a major role in a consumer’s FICO score. In fact, this number accounts for 30 percent of the average consumer’s FICO score, and it is the second most important part of a person’s credit score next to paying bills on time.

To figure out what this score is, the consumer needs to add up credit limits across all his or her credit cards and then add up the outstanding balance on each card. Divide the total balance owed by the total limits and multiply that by 100 to determine the percentage or credit utilization ratio.