The cost of last summer

  • Nearly 1.4 million still paying for last year’s summer holiday
  • Another 926,000 take a year to clear holiday debt, research shows

Summer holidays may only last two weeks – but paying for them takes a lot longer, new research* reveals. Its research shows around 1.4 million holidaymakers are still paying interest on debts run up on their 2006 summer break.

And another 926,000 took a year or more to clear the money they borrowed to pay for summer 2006 – just in time to head off for summer 2007. On average people borrowing to pay for their holiday take 3.8 months to clear the debt.

The research is yet more evidence of the spiral of debt in the UK and believes the pressure on borrowers is only likely to increase after five Bank of England rate increases since August 2006 have taken interest rates to 5.75 per cent.

Not everyone gets into trouble with their holiday borrowing – around 2.3 million who borrow to pay for their holiday clear the debts within a month.

Sean Gardner, Chief Executive of, said: "Holidays are a time for getting away from it all but too many of us are just getting into debt and building up troubles for the future.

"With borrowing costs rising across the board there is real concern that too many people are trapped in a spiral of debt which ultimately threatens to overwhelm them.

"We all deserve a holiday but running up debt is not going to help in the long-run. Lenders are getting tough by increasing interest rates and by cutting back on the amount they will lend. Borrowers need a strategy to control their debts.

"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 45 to 54 are the most likely to be still paying off debts from last year’s summer holiday. Around six per cent of them are still reliving the 2006 holiday compared to the national average of three per cent.

Around six per cent pay off holiday debt in a month or less while another two per cent take two months. Around two per cent take six months to clear their holiday borrowing.

Consolidate your debts today and stop your debts from spiralling out of control.

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

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