Lifeline expects surge in credit card debt

An Australian counselling service has predicted a sharp rise in the number of people struggling with credit card debt in the coming months.

Lifeline said it was preparing for a huge influx of people who have maxed out several credit cards and are struggling to cover home loan repayments in the post-Christmas period.

Speaking to ABC Newcastle, Lifeline's Damien Cooke suggested that people will have a better chance of dealing with debt problems if they get in touch with their lenders as soon as possible.

"The most important thing you can do is contact the lender and let them know that there is some financial pressures in the household and apply for hardship," he said.

"The earlier that people can get in contact with their lenders, the better."

Consumers concerned about their financial circumstances can opt to compare credit cards and other money products in search of better options. Earlier this month, Mortgage Choice's new 2010 Queensland Consumer Sentiment Survey showed that mortgage holders are particularly concerned about rising living costs next year.

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