CHRISTMAS is a time of giving – and a time of spending.
Between present-buying, parties and end-of-year holidays, it can be a tempting time to reach for those handy pieces of plastic, our credit cards.
Now, new statistics by Australian credit data organisation Veda has confirmed that credit cards application are ramping up as Christmas counts down. Inquiries increased, on average, by 10.3 per cent in the December quarter each year over the past five years.
Aussies who apply for any of type of credit between October and December were also more likely to end up with a credit default than those who applied at any other time of the year.
Veda marketing manager Belinda Diprose said Australians relied heavily on their credit cards over the Christmas period.
“Long term trends show there’s a heavy reliance on credit cards during this period, “ Ns Diprose said.
“Many people are more susceptible to defaulting on payments down the track, which has implications for their credit history long after the tinsel has been taken down.”
Australians owe more than $38 billion on the cards, an average of $4900 per card holder.
So how do we avoid Christmas credit card ‘debt regret’?
Veda advises people to do their homework and keep a handle on what they owe.
Centacare Executive Director David Beaver said financial difficulties could increase pressure on relationships and households that were already fragile, and could do significant damage.
“Whilst credit cards may seem like an easy option, we need to ensure that vulnerable members of the community are adequately informed to ensure they don’t fall further behind,” he said.