MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Many consumers in the Peach State are kicking off the new year with old holiday debt.
Christmas may be over, but for many Georgians the holidays will follow them into 2013. Many people charged for their gifts this year and now it is time to pay up.
According to a recent study conducted by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, 18% of Georgians plan to pay off their holiday debt in one to two months, 11% will take three to six months to become debt free, 18% say it will take seven to 12 months, and 2% say it will take more than a year.
Even though many have plans to pay, 32% of Georgians say they have no plans to pay off their holiday debt.
"I don't understand that. You're not going to pay for it, you shouldn't buy it," shopper Jessica Roberts said.
"I'm not a credit card person. I'm a cash person. I got the cash, I give the amount," shopper Chantez Knight said. "If I do decide to get a credit card, I'll take the money off the credit card so I won't go over it."
To prevent holiday debt from catching up to you in the new year, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates offers the following tips: limit what you charge, create a budget, and make sure you stick to it.
"We limit ourselves because we don't want to be in debt," shopper Dosh Jackson said.
So you're not haunted by the ghost of Christmas past.
If you did rack up debt from over the holidays, financial experts suggest you pay more than the minimum balance each month and pay it off as soon as possible. If you don't, you could face hundreds of dollars in additional interest charges.