survey unearths bleaker budget outcomes for Australian credit consumers

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A 2014 Credit Landscape survey shows clear areas of concerns for the plight of credit consumers in the wake of a controversial Australian Federal Budget which has received widespread community outrage. Finance comparison company, conducted its annual survey, gauging Australian credit seekers sentiments in the weeks leading up to the budget release.

People already struggling to cope with everyday consumer debt are yet another section of the community slugged by the Federal Budget according to a national survey. The annual Australian Credit Landscape survey organised by finance comparison site,, was conducted just four weeks before the budget was unveiled.

The findings highlighted disturbing trends in the way many Australians were already failing to properly handle living in the everyday world of credit. “Life has just got harder for Australian credit seekers who earn less than $60,000 a year,” said chief executive, Roland B Bleyer. “For those aged under 25, our results also show that making ends meet is a reality slipping further away.”

Bleyer said: “It was against a background of many dire warnings about how tough the budget would be when we ran the survey. More than 1,550 people responded, six out of ten had an income below the $60,000 level and seven out of ten were female. We asked 42 questions with one key section concentrating on their credit status and credit behaviour.

“The trends reveal that more cardholders are having a hard time to keep debt levels at bay than they were 12 months earlier. There were three clear areas of concern which the budget will almost certainly exacerbate:
1. Increased level of those admitting an inability to pay even the minimum monthly payments on their cards.
2. Alarming levels of people exceeding agreed credit limits.
3. Majority of card holders failing to pay off monthly balances.

Bleyer said that the number of credit card holders admitting they are unable to make even the minimum monthly payments had soared by 25 per cent year on year. “People are really hurting if they don’t make even the minimum payments. That’s terrible news for consumers, but great news for the banks and the financial services providers.”

Nearly one third, 29per cent, exceeded their agreed credit limit, the majority more than once. Bleyer’s view: “This is a worrying trend because they get hit with additional banks fees. Card holders will be even further away from controlling their debt burden.”
Almost six in ten people, 59.2 per cent, were unable to pay off their monthly balance – a critical golden rule of credit card debt control. Bleyer’s verdict: “That is a windfall for the banks and an economic milestone for the consumer since they get no interest free days on purchases. So from day one, interest is charged for everything the card is used for. Average credit card rates around 17% are grinding away every day.”

The survey uncovered a potential economic milestone for young people less than 25 years of age since almost half of them, 48 per cent, confessed they had exceeded their credit limit. Only a third of young respondents were fully employed and 46 per cent failed to pay off their credit card balance each month. Bleyer’s view: “It is a cruel fact that young people starting their credit journey poorly will be handicapped in their future ability to borrow. Most analysts have already highlighted how the budget has added to this age group’s economic worries.”

This is the link to the survey:

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Roland Bleyer
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