Debt terror: 75M Americans say their finances are a 'horror show'

Trick or treating is a Halloween tradition for adults and kids to travel from house to house in costumes asking for treats. But it’s also the start of the holiday spending season when consumers start to accumulate credit card debt.

“This is the most heavy-debt-related season that people fall into,” said financial expert Chris Hogan during an interview Wednesday on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.” “And it ends up taking them years to pay it off."

Last year Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday season debt. And while it’s still unclear how much shoppers’ tabs will reach this year, 75 million Americans say their current finances are a “horror show,” according to a WalletHub survey.

Even so, more than 179 million Americans are expected to participate in Halloween celebrations this year, and are likely to spend nearly $9 billion on candy, greeting cards, costumes and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation.

What’s more, 21 million people think a Halloween costume is worth going into debt for, even though 76 percent planned to only spend $50 or less this year.

However, Hogan said it shouldn’t be an excuse to go into more debt.

“Credit cards are more like a frenemy, you think it’s your friend but in reality it’s out to get your money,” said Hogan.

“Kids love dressing up, having fun. As parents we develop a costume, take them out and about and have fun,” he added. “You don’t have to spend to have fun. And anytime you use debt when you spend, you’re bringing a horror type situation into your life.”

Hogan added that savings and education is critical to taking control of your personal finances.