Holidays in the red

  • 18 per cent get into debt to pay for summer break, research shows

More than 8.3 million holidaymakers get into debt to fund their summer break, new research* reveals. Its research shows 18 per cent of people getting away from it all – nearly one in five holidaymakers – are getting into debt.

And the study reveals 63 per cent of those borrowing to pay for their summer break are putting it on their plastic. Another nine per cent are relying on unsecured personal loans.

The research is yet more evidence of the reliance on debt by millions of people to fund their lifestyles and shows the risk that millions are running as interest rates rise and the cost of repaying debt increases.

Around 14 per cent of people use bank overdrafts to fund their summer holidays while 12 per cent can look to generous friends and family to help them out for their summer break.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of, said: "Holidays are usually one of the biggest spending times of the year along with Christmas so with family budgets being squeezed millions of us are turning to borrowing.

"And it can be tempting when you’re overseas to dip into the red a bit to make sure the holiday is as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.

"However holidays should also be a time to recharge your batteries and relax and that should also apply to sorting out your finances.

"It’s not long after the summer holiday season is finally over that the Christmas adverts start up and we all head for another round of wallet bashing. It can be far too easy to get into a spiral of debt.

"Anyone with debt problems needs to cut the amount they are paying each month and to draw up a plan to become debt-free. That should include switching debts to more competitive credit cards and consolidating debts into a personal loan. In some cases it could include taking out a secured loan if you are a homeowner."

People aged 55-plus are the most likely to borrow to pay for summer holidays while across the country Scots are the least likely to borrow. Around 84 per cent of Scots either didn’t borrow to go on holiday or didn’t have a summer holiday.

What next?

  • Compare personal loans – over 2,000 loan rates to compare on MoneyExpert with rates from 6.3%
  • Compare Credit Cards – from 0% balance transfer, 0% purchase rate, low life of balance, low standard rates to rewards and cashback cards – there are over 200 credit cards on MoneyExpert to choose from

* YouGov interviewed 2,379 GB adults (18+) between 20th and 23rd July 2007

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