Holiday spending is set to plunge thousands of Canadians into deeper debt according to a new poll.

The Manulife Bank survey shows that 6 in 10 respondents have no budget for holiday spending or are likely to overspend. Half say they have gone into debt previously to buy presents.

Of those who do have a budget in mind, around half expect to take on additional debt as a result with three quarters saying they will use credit for gifts, especially credit cards.

Regardless of their willingness to make purchases, three in 10 people planning to spend say they end up regretting the amount of money they have spent during the holiday season year-to-year. This leads to a struggle to pay off debt after the holidays.

Debt is not just a thing for the holidays
The bank’s fall debt survey reveals that while spending for the holidays is a flash point, throughout the year more than half of Canadians feel that debt in general, prevents them from doing the things they want to do and impacts their ability to save for retirement.

Four in 10 Canadians with debt don't think they will ever be debt-free.

"Financial worries cause stress for many Canadians and during the holidays that stress increases," said Lunny. "Even the most conservative spender can feel overwhelmed during the holidays, but a little planning can go a long way.”

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