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More Than A Third Of US Consumers Went Overboard With Holiday Shopping

More Than A Third Of US Consumers Went Overboard With Holiday Shopping

More Than A Third Of US Consumers Went Overboard With Holiday Shopping

This year, U.S. consumers went overboard with their holiday shopping even as inflation, product shortages, and shipping delays impacted the holiday shopping season.

Thirty-six percent of U.S. consumers went into debt during the holiday shopping season, with the average consumer owing $1,249, according to a survey of 2,000 consumers conducted by FinTech LendingTree.

The majority of shoppers (62%) paid for their purchases using credit cards, while nearly 40% of them used buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans. Flexible payment offerings were particularly popular among parents with children, 64% of whom used such options, followed by six-figure earners (61%) and millennials (60%).

While it may seem surprising that high-income earners turned to BNPL plans for their holiday purchases, it makes sense as these plans help users avoid racking up significant debt on their credit cards.

“They’re easy to get, give you a little bit of extra time to pay for something without any extra costs, are predictable and don’t leave you in the end with a lot of extra credit that could become debt in the future,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst.

The two demographic groups that accumulated the most debt this holiday season are parents with children younger than 18 and millennials, borrowing an average of $1,462. That’s slightly lower than the amount borrowed by male shoppers, who spent $1,518 on average.

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