Christmas Debt Statistics 2022

According to Christmas debt statistics, more consumers took on debt this holiday season than last year.

Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays that people wait for all year round to get together, enjoy good family time and spend profuse amounts of money on shopping, traveling, and food and is most likely the time of the year to go into debt. 

Christmas sales retail exceeded the trillion-dollar mark, with each U.S household spending an average of $1,536.

For many Americans, this can mean spending outside of their budget and expect to be around $554 in debt on average at the end of the holidays. 

We have compiled some Christmas debt statistics to help you gain a better understanding of what Americans are buying and how much debt they owe. Let’s take a look: 

Christmas Debt Statistics

Key Christmas Debt Statistics 

  • Despite high prices and Omicron fear, 36% of Americans took on Christmas debt this season which is higher than last year, but the incurred debt this year averages at $1,249 in 2021, which is 10% less than $1,381 last year. 
  • Every 1 in 3 consumers said that they spend more than their capacity on the spirit of the holiday, according to a survey conducted by LendingTree. 
  • 12.5% of Americans spend over $300 on their spouses during Christmas. 
  • Couples with kids below 19 and millennials have the highest percentage of Christmas debt, at 54% and 50%, respectively, borrowing an average of $1,462 collectively. 
  • Every 1 in 5 parents with young kids are rassling with balances from the last year’s toy haul.  
  • 22% of Americans think that their Christmas spending is likely to leave them in debt. 
  • Most borrowers with Christmas debt put 62% of the debt on their credit cards and 23% on personal loans. 
  • About 40% of American citizens have used the buy now and pay later financing for holiday gifts this year, which is 37% higher than the last year. 
  • More than 64% of the parents with young children, 61% of the six-figure earners, and 60% of the millennials used buy now, pay later financing for Christmas. 
  • Christmas debt expectations are higher than the last year, with 41% of Americans stating that it is likely that they will incur Christmas shopping debt this year. 
  • Christmas debt expectations are higher than in 2020, with 40% of Americans saying that they feel obligated to buy Christmas gifts for at least one family member. 
  • Millennials and Gen Xers feel more pressured to purchase gifts than any other age group.  
  • 13% of consumers are still paying off the last year’s Christmas debt. 
  • Millennials and Gen X between ages 35 to 54 are least likely to pay off Christmas debt. 
  • Nearly 48% of Americans dread holidays due to the pressure to spend more and the Christmas debt associated with it. 
  • According to Christmas debt statistics, 82% of those with Christmas debt cannot afford to pay it back within a month, while nearly 45% will try to consolidate their debt. 
  • As of July 2022, nearly 40% of Americans will still be paying off their 2021 Christmas debt by February 11, 2022. 

Read: Top 20 Facts About College Debt

Read: Credit Card Debt Statistics


How Much Money was Spent on Christmas Shopping in 2021?  

According to the survey conducted by Moneygeek on Christmas debt statistics, here is how much money Americans spent on Christmas 2021: 

Amount Spent Percentage of Respondents 
$250 or less19%
$50027%
$1,00025%
$2,00016%
$3,0007%
$5,0005%
Over $5,0002%

Stats About Christmas Spending 2021

According to the New York Federal Reserve’s third-quarter report on household debt and credit, Americans racked up credit card debt in 2021, even before the Christmas season.

An average American has spent $1,131 on Christmas, and 13% spend $3,000 or more. 

65% of Americans used credit cards for their holiday spending. Of those surveyed, people with excellent credit scores between 800-850, but the largest percentage of their spending was on credit cards.

Here are the stats about what Americans are buying:

  • 32.8 million Christmas Trees Were Sold 

According to the most recent survey conducted by the National Christmas Tree Association, 27.1 million trees were sold in 2017, and in 2019, the number grew to 32.8 million.

More than 350 million trees are growing on special farms in the U.S, which is more than enough to satisfy the market demands. 

  • 47.4% Of Women Like To Buy Jewelry For Christmas 

Nearly half of the women we surveyed during the compilation of these Christmas debt statistics said they want to buy jewelry for Christmas, especially diamonds. 

About 46% would be excited to go on a holiday, followed by 42.2%, who said they’d be happy to receive gift vouchers at their favorite shop.

  • 32.3% Of Men Want To Get Gift Vouchers For Christmas 

For men, Christmas shopping seems to be a simpler and fuss-free task than for women.

One-third of the men we surveyed said that they want gift vouchers for Christmas, and 32% want clothing for Christmas. Nearly 23.5% of men get nothing for Christmas. 

Read: Credit Card Ownership Statistics


Outstanding Christmas Debt Statistics 

If you went a bit overboard with your Christmas shopping this year and racked up debt, you are not the only one.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $1,048 on gifts, food, and decorations.

However, what is worth discussing more than the absolute dollars spent on Christmas is how much debt people took on and still paying off. 

Americans are no stranger to debt, and more than 61% of credit card holders carry an average balance of $6,194, according to Experian.

As of July 2022, 40% of Americans had not paid their Christmas debt, and the people between the ages of 35 to 54 have 48% of unpaid debt, the highest among all age groups.

Here’s a percentage of those who paid of Christmas debt: 

Age Groups  Percentage of Debt Paid 
18-2463%
25-3453%
35-4445%
45-5447%
55-6461%
65+75%

The respondents with exceptional credit had paid off their Christmas debt, while only 17% had not paid off their Christmas or holiday debt.

Around 40% of Americans don’t carry any credit card balance, that includes people who carry a 

40% of the respondents who carried a credit card balance for four months in a year had no balance.

Eliminating the respondents who made regular monthly payments, respondents typically carried a balance for seven months. 

Read: How Many Women Are In Debt?


Average Credit Card Debt Statistics In The U.S Since 2003

Year  Credit Card Debt% Of credit card debt to total debtTotal debt
2003$6939.2%$7,555
2004$7068.0%$8,833
2005$7327.5%$9,792
2006$7546.8%$11,111
2007$8176.7%$12,133
2008$8586.8% $12,675
2009$81256.6%$12,279
2010$7316.2%$11,844
2011$6935.9%$11,661
2012$6746.0%$11,310
2013$6726.0%$11,280
2014$6805.8%$11,710
2015$7145.9%$12,065
2016$7476.0%$12,350
2017$8086.2%$12,955
2018$8446.2%$13,512
2019$8816.3%$13,952
2020$8075.6%$14,353

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