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Tap And Woe: The 8 Credit Card Sins That 1.1 Million Kiwis Are Guilty Of

News highlights:

42% of New Zealand credit card holders have used their card irresponsibly

Impulse buying and not checking statements are the top offenders

Tips for reducing your credit card debt

28 October 2021, New Zealand – Credit card misuse is rife in New Zealand, according to new research by financial comparison site Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,528 credit card holders revealed 42% – equivalent to 1.1 million Kiwis – have committed a credit card sin in the past 12 months.

Almost one in five (18%) card holders admitted to impulse buying, while one in eight (12%) don’t check their credit card statement.

The research shows 8% of card holders have made a late payment, while one in ten (9%) have maxed out their credit card.

Only paying the minimum repayment (11%), taking out regular cash advances (4%), paying fees for more than one card (8%) and applying for credit cards they don’t need (2%) round out the top 8 credit card faux pas.

Angus Kidman, editor at large for Finder New Zealand, said it’s essential to use credit cards wisely.

“Savvy credit card management can literally save you thousands of dollars in interest and charges.

“The biggest risk that comes from credit card mistakes is a blemished credit score. This can affect your chances of getting a loan in the future,” Kidman said.

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Finder research shows around 41% of Kiwis are carrying a credit card debt – with total outstanding advances sitting at $6.2 billion.

Kdiman said there were some basic measures New Zealanders could take to protect their credit score.

“Start an emergency fund to lower the chances of maxing out a credit card if you are faced with an unexpected expense.

“Failing to pay the credit card bill on time attracts a penalty and could see you in a debt trap, so set up direct debits to make your repayments.

"If you do have a debt, look into balance transfer offers – you can cut the interest you're paying and get out of debt faster."

The research shows women (12%) are more likely to max out their credit card than men.

Almost one in four women (22%) make impulse purchases, compared to only 15% of men.

“Be intentional with your card usage – while some careless actions might only hurt you temporarily, others can be a huge burden,” Kidman said.

© Scoop Media

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