Middle-aged men 'most vulnerable to insolvency'

Middle-aged men are the most likely of all Australians to become personally insolvent, a new report has said.

The Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia (Itsa) has revealed the most common age for those with personal insolvency agreements in 2011 was between 40 and 44, whereas debt agreement debtors were most commonly in their mid-to-late 20s.

Inspector-general in bankruptcy Veronique Ingram remarked: "The majority of debtors were male and employed in 2011. The average age of debtors and their unsecured debts have increased since 2003."

This year is the first in which Itsa has revealed the level of store and credit card debt held by debtors, she added, with 21 per cent of the average bankrupt individual's personal debt being on plastic.

Excess use of credit was one of two main causes of insolvency, the other being unemployment and a consequent loss of income.

People keen to compare credit cards might wish to ensure they are aware of the level of interest they may potentially pay before considering any other features of the product.

A recent study by the Reserve Bank of Australia concluded Australians have tended to try to keep their card debts down in recent years.

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