Australians struggle under credit card burden

Australians considering a credit card balance transfer have an average of $12,067 of debt.

Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) put the average credit card debt in Australia at $3,069.

But a survey by comparison site revealed those considering a balance transfer were struggling under a debt burden almost four times this amount.

The site examined data from 9,500 users trying to shift debt to a zero per cent balance transfer credit card and uncovered the average balance on their existing cards.

Finder’s Bessie Hassan said it was alarming Australians had such high credit card balances.

“Failing to pay off a credit card can put people in a debt spiral but for those looking to minimise costs, a balance transfer may be a good solution,” Ms Hassan said.

“Balance transfer deals can be enticing but the interest-free period should be seen as a time to work hard at paying down debt – not as a repayment holiday.

“When you get your new plastic, it’s important to cut up the old card to avoid accruing account-keeping fees on your old account.

“Ensure the new card has a large enough credit limit or balance transfer amount to support your debt, otherwise the outstanding balance left on your old account will continue to collect interest.”

Users of were paying an average purchase rate of 16.77 per cent. For those paying the minimum repayment amount of two per cent each month, it would take 40 years to pay off a balance of $12,067 and cost $25,260 in interest payments.

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