Media Release

Credit card woes: Where do Aussies turn if they can’t pay off their plastic?

        • Only half (51%) of Aussies could rely on their own funds if they were struggling with debt
        • Men (8%) are twice as likely as women (4%) to miss the payment altogether
        • Tips for getting your credit card debt paid off

14 October 2020, Sydney, Australia – Only half of Australians who find themselves buried under out-of-control credit card debt would be able to dig themselves out, according to Finder.

A recent Finder survey of 825 credit cardholders revealed where Aussies would turn if they couldn't make the minimum repayment on their card.

The research found that just half (51%) of cardholders could dip into their emergency savings to tackle the payment.

The remaining respondents would need to look elsewhere to meet their repayments with nearly 1 in 5 (18%) turning to a loved one and a similar amount (19%) contacting their bank for assistance.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said missed repayments can cause finances to spiral out of control.

"Pre-coronavirus, paying off a manageable amount of credit card debt was straightforward.

"Now, it only takes a job loss or an unexpected expense to go from paying off debt comfortably to struggling to keep up with bills," she said.

Australians hold almost $39 billion in credit card debt according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. With unemployment at 6.8%, it's possible that more people would be finding it hard to keep up with credit card repayments.

Worryingly, Finder's research showed 6% of cardholders wouldn't turn to any outside help and just miss the repayment, while 3% would use a small personal loan to afford the credit card repayments.

Men (8%) are twice as likely to completely miss the payment compared to women (4%).

Browne said it's vital that Australians contact their credit card provider before their account goes into default.

"If you miss a credit card payment, this may be listed on your credit report and can hurt your credit score.

"You'll have more options if the bank sees you are being proactive in trying to solve a debt problem ahead of time," she said.

"If you have missed a payment, you can check your credit score through Finder and see if it has had an impact on your credit score."

If you were unable to meet a repayment on your credit card where would you turn first?
(credit cardholders only)
Emergency savings51%
I would call my bank/provider/issuer for help19%
Ask family/friends for help18%
I would miss the payment6%
Take out a small personal loan to cover it3%

Source: Finder September 2020 survey of 825 credit card holders

Tips for paying off your credit card debt

  • Find out what hardship policies are being offered through your current bank or provider – some banks are waiving fees for customers affected by COVID-19.
  • Pay down balances on cards with the highest interest rate first.
  • Buy yourself extra time – a 0% balance transfer card can help to simplify your finances and consolidate your debts.
  • Making even the minimum payment can help you avoid fees and saves your credit score from taking a hit.


For further information


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About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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