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Aussies spend $8.6 million every day on credit card debt

Credit card debt in Australia is soaring as Aussies try to keep up with the rising cost of living.

An image of money and credit cards in a wallet.
Aussies are building up some serious credit card debt. (Source: AAP)

The amount of credit card debt Aussies have that is accruing interest came in at a whopping $17.73 billion in March and caused havoc for people's finances.

The total credit card debt attracting interest charges was down 0.1 per cent or $19 million from the previous month, data released from the RBA showed, but that was still a total interest bill of $8.6 million per day, or $265.7 million in March.

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“Credit card debt went in the right direction in March but, after five months of rises, this drop is more likely to be an anomaly, rather than a turnaround,” RateCity.com.au research director Sally Tindall said.

“Australians are forking out an estimated $8.6 million a day in credit card interest on a total debt of $17.73 billion. That money would be far better off in people’s pockets rather than the banks’.”

Cost-of-living pressures expected to get worse

Tindall said credit card debt would likely continue to climb in the months ahead as Aussies struggled through the cooler months.

“Most borrowers haven’t yet started paying for the March hike, let alone the May one. In a couple of months’ time, some families could suddenly find they’re in too deep,” Tindall said.

“The credit card might feel like the only option to get you through to the next payday, however, with an average interest rate of 17.64 per cent, it’s like putting a Band-Aid over a bullet wound.

“If you don’t have enough money to pay the bills, call up your providers and ask for help. Banks and utility companies have hardship programs you can use instead of transferring the problem over to the plastic.”

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