Wednesday 28 December 2016 6:00 am

Over half of consumers expect to still be paying off Christmas shopping this time next year

Nearly nine out of 10 people in the UK will wake up with a post-festive spending hangover in 2017, according to price comparison service uSwitch.

Britons are heading into the new year with an average credit card debt of £636 after consumers put £11bn on plastic to fund Christmas.

In a survey of 1,261 adults, uSwitch estimate that 52 per cent of consumers fear they will still be paying off this year's Christmas debt when putting up the tree in 2017.

The apparent importance of treating friends and family this festive season persuaded 19 per cent of consumers to spend beyond their means, while 16 per cent went into debt to fund their Christmas shopping.

One in six consumers surveyed said they were "extremely worried" about their level of indebtedness.

Read more: British households taking on more debt as almost half struggle to pay credit card bills on time

USwitch's findings chime with a study from Nationwide published last month which found that six per cent of consumers will spend over a month's salary on Christmas gifts, with 19 per cent expecting to need at least three months to pay off the spree.

“Right now millions of Brits are suffering from festive financial hangovers," said uSwitch money expert Tasheema Jackson. 

“As well as reigning in spending, using the right products is an easy way to keep your bills down. For example, savvy shoppers who clear their credit card balance in full each month should consider cashback cards to help make back that little bit extra. For those with longer-term debt, cards offering 0% interest on balance transfers could provide some welcome relief, and a little longer to get on top of their debt – with interest-free periods over 40 months now available.

“If you feel like your credit card woes are out of control, help is at hand. Charities like StepChange offer free and impartial advice to help get your debt under control.”