Aussie credit card balances rise 16% in three years

Australian credit card balances have risen 16 per cent over the last three years, new figures show.

According to Reserve Bank (RBA) data, Aussies now owe a total of $47.7 billion on their credit cards.

The RBA said that $35.1 billion of this is accruing interest, up from $29.4 billion in October 2007.

Speaking to News Limited, CommSec chief economist Craig James argued that the data appears worse than it is by not accounting for the rise in population, rising wages and the growing number of accounts.

In fact, he suggested that consumers have become more astute and are now more likely to compare credit cards and other financial products than they were three years ago.

"People are more conservative and consumers are a lot more savvy now," said Mr James.

"A trend we are seeing is people are more inclined to make a purchase on their debit card. The other trend we are seeing is the use of cash."

This article is brought to you by Mozo – Helping you compare credit cards