1 in 10 Aussies facing debt until they die

Desperate and unemployed young couple reviewing their credit card debts. Financial family problems concept.

Frances Mao

Sydney

(Australian Associated Press)

If you think you’ll never escape debt then you’re not alone.

One in 10 Australians fear they’ll owe money until the end of their life.

Record low interest rates and an abundance of attractive credit card deals have created a culture of easy debt living, money expert at comparison site Finder.com.au Michelle Hutchinson said.

“The level of personal, household debt is growing in Australia and it seems that more people are just accepting of the fate that they’ll always be in debt for most of their life,” she said.

The site’s survey of more than 1,000 Australians found that more than half owed money in the form of mortgages, credit cards, mobile phone contracts, as well as personal and car loans.

An eye-watering $109 billion was owed in credit card and personal loans in July, up by about $2 billion from a year earlier, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

On top of that, Australians owe more than $1.37 trillion on their mortgages.

The survey found just 19 per cent of Australians believe they will be debt free within five years, while 17 per cent predict another six to 20 years.

Those who were most pessimistic about their debt were Gen X, with 12.5 per cent fearing they will never kiss their debts goodbye.

The survey found that most people start racking up debt in their late 20s, but by the time they reach their mid-50s they’ve paid it off.

Sixty three per cent baby boomers surveyed said that they were debt free.

Ms Hutchinson said that credit card offers like balance transfers had made credit easier to obtain, but also made it easier for people to act irresponsibly with their money.

“We’re seeing a lot more yo-yo debtors out there who are constantly paying off one card to then rack up a huge amount on another,” she said.

“They’re always in this debt cycle which can spiral out of control.”

DEBT LEVELS ACROSS AUSTRALIA

* ACT: 60 pct

* WA: 58 pct

* VIC: 57 pct

* NSW: 53 pct

* SA: 48 pct

* QLD: 47 pct

(Source: Finder.com.au)

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