More than a third (36 per cent) of consumers have accrued £4.1bn in debt over the past few months, with 40 per cent unsure how they will pay it back.
According to new research from comparison service Monva, the average UK adult accumulated £220 in debt over the festive period.
Read more: 51pc of UK adults got into debt in 2020
Among credit card users, this figure rose to £315 per person, creating a total of £3 billion in additional credit card debt.
“2020 was a challenging year for the nation’s finances,” said Steve Wiley, chief executive of Monva.
“Lockdowns and social restrictions meant a lucky few benefitted from reduced outgoings. However, our research shows that it was more difficult for some to put more money than usual aside.
“A large number of people are feeling pessimistic and unconfident about their finances. Many have started the year in debt without a plan in place to pay back this debt.”
One fifth of UK adults told Monva that they had to dip into their savings to cover their expenses over the past few months. Seven per cent used ‘buy now, pay later’ options.
43 per cent of UK adults said that they feel pessimistic and unconfident about their finances in the year ahead.