Well done fellow adults, as a nation we’ve managed to get our personal credit card debt owed to banks down by 4.2% from December 2017 to December 2018, according to a newly released report by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), aka. the Australian Government body that regulates banks.
While as a percentage that may not initially seem HUGE to us normal people and it still means Australia has a total credit card debt of 40.7 billion smackeroos, it’s actually the biggest yearly decline since these things started being recorded by the powers that be, about 16 years ago. And also the lowest amount of credit card debt, at least in this century.
Chief Economist at Commsec, Craig James, told Business Insider the decline is likely to be a result of “increased job security and strong household balance sheets“.
And it’s true that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported our unemployment rate to also be sitting at 5% which is its lowest point since 2011. So that all seems like a pretty dang positive thing to me.
However, economists are also pointing towards less generous credit card reward points schemes being a factor, because who doesn’t loose their head a little when free stuff is involved. But also the rise of ‘buy now, pay later’ credit providers may have helped shifted credit debt from cards and banks to less traditional place.
But still, let’s not allow that to take away from the fact credit card debt is down. Credit where credit is due. Well done, us.