Thirty-Two Percent of Americans Planning to Use Credit Cards This Holiday Season Will Carry Debt Into 2017

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Student Loan Hero recently surveyed U.S. adults to find out how their existing household debt will impact 2016 holiday spending.

New York, NY, November 30, 2016 — A new survey by top financial education site Student Loan Hero finds that household debt among Americans will significantly impact how they plan to spend their money during the 2016 holiday season.

According to the survey, more than half of respondents do not plan to use credit cards for holiday spending this year. However, 55 percent of those who will rely on credit to pay for holiday expenses plan to charge more than $500. And of those holiday shoppers who will be swiping credit cards, 32 percent expect to carry a balance for more than a month.


“The sad truth is that most Americans will run into a financial squeeze this holiday season,” stated Andrew Josuweit, CEO of Student Loan Hero. “As families spend hundreds of dollars on seasonal expenses such as gifts, decorations, and travel, credit cards can help alleviate the cash flow crunch. My only hope is that consumers are able to stick to their budgets and start working to get back on track come January.”

Key Findings

–Of respondents who stated that household debt would affect their spending this holiday season, 33 percent said mortgage debt was the most burdensome, followed by credit card debt (25 percent) and student loan debt (23 percent).

–Of respondents who stated they’d be willing to make financial sacrifices if they could not afford holiday expenses, 30 percent said they would give up all gifts for one year. Twenty-seven percent stated they would skip celebrating the holidays completely this year if they were unable to afford their holiday expenses.

Credit Card Usage

–More than half of respondents do not plan to use credit cards for holiday spending this year.

–Of those who plan to use credit cards for their holiday spending, nearly one-third expect to carry a balance for more than 30 days.

–Of those who plan to spend on credit cards, 55 percent expect to charge more than $500.

Impact of Household Debt

–More than 40 percent of respondents stated that their household debt will limit their holiday spending this year.

–Of respondents who stated their holiday spending will be impacted by student loan debt, 61 percent said it will affect the amount of money they plan to spend on gifts this year. Nearly 40 percent said their student loan debt will affect the amount of money they will spend on travel this year.


Survey was conducted via Google Consumer Surveys on behalf of Student Loan Hero from November 4-6, 2016, with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the United States and RMSE score of 1.2%.

About Student Loan Hero

Student Loan Hero combines easy-to-use tools with financial education to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt manage and pay off their loans. Student Loan Hero has helped more than 100,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $2 billion in student loan debt since 2012 and assists over 3.5 million people in becoming more financially healthy every year.

Student Loan Hero offers both current and former students free loan calculators, as well as unbiased, personalized advice and repayment plans through an easy-to-use online dashboard.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Andrew Josuweit, who himself had over $100,000 in student loans, Student Loan Hero operates on the belief that all loan help and recommendations should come with honesty and no hidden agenda.

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Published in Credit & Debt, Press