While home loan and business owners have received extensive financial aid, it’s credit card customers who have pulled the short straw in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over recent months, we’ve seen the rollout of financial assistance from banks and financial institutions but perhaps not enough focus on credit - at least that’s what some experts believe.
“Unsecured credit has been the poor cousin in all of this [pandemic],” said director of policy at the Consumer Action Law Centre, Katherine Temple. “A lot of [other banks] responses are kicking the can down the road.”
Deferring repayments, purchase rate reductions and lowering the minimum repayment amount for vulnerable customers are measures that have been put in place. However, there’s one area that may have been overlooked. Accruing interest.
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According to J.D Power, 26% of Aussies are using their plastic to pay for household necessities. So, if you own a credit card with an interest rate over 20%, you may find yourself with some challenges once the deferral period ends: a stack of built up debt, higher repayments and a hefty interest bill to match.
According to Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont, there are a few things Aussies can do now to prepare themselves for the future.
“It’s crucial that credit card holders familiarise themselves with smart ways to pay down their debt, so that when the time comes, they are fully equipped to do so,” says Lamont.
“One course of action might be to apply for a balance transfer credit card, which can wipe away debt without the interest.
“It’s important to prepare a realistic repayment plan, so you’re guaranteed to clear your balance before the 0% interest rate period ends. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a revert purchase rate much higher than what you initially started with.”
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If you’d like to find out how much you could save in interest by taking out a balance transfer credit card, check out some offers below or head on over to our comparison tool for more options.
And if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest COVID-19 developments, check out our coverage of all the credit card relief packages banks offer.