Credit cards hurting average Aussies

The culture of racking up large debts on cheap credit cards and only paying the minimum back is landing many Australians in hot water.

In a special report, the Age warns that as job security grows decidedly shaky, many people are finding that the “buy now, pay later” approach is coming back to bite them.

One recent victim is Natalie Stebbings, who ran up debts of around $38,000 on cheap credit cards and is now paying $1,100 a month in repayments, only slightly above the minimum requirement.

“I lost my mum a couple of years ago and I thought ’life’s too short’ and I went on an overseas trip,” she told the paper.

“I spent up big.”

Now, she says she is unable to find a lender who is willing to help her consolidate her debts and is looking at a repayment sentence of at least six years.

In January, prime minister Kevin Rudd launched a tirade against the credit card industry for its collective refusal to bring more cheap credit cards on to the market in line with rate cuts from the Reserve Bank.

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