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1.6 million Australians have 3+ credit cards


These credit card hoarders have an average debt of more than $6,500.

1.6 million Australians have three or more credit cards, according to new research from finder.

Unsurprisingly, cardholders with several cards are more likely to have bigger plastic debts than Aussies with one credit card. Credit card hoarders are carrying an average $6,565 debt, which is more than double the national average of $3,087. This combines to an outstanding $10.3 billion, which accounts for around 20% of the national credit card debt.

The study revealed 40% of Australians own one credit card, 19% own two credit cards and 8% own three or more. This leaves 33% of Australians who don’t own a credit card. Aussies aged 59 and above are the most likely to own multiple credit cards, with 30% owning two or more. This is much higher compared to 26% of Generation Y. Overall, males are also more likely to have more credit cards. The figures show 12% of men have three or more credit cards, compared to 5% of women.

High income earners are also more likely to own more credit cards. According to the research, almost one in four Aussies earning $150,000 p.a. have three or more cards. Even for high income earners, owning three or more credit cards could increase your risk of falling into debt if you're not paying it in full each month.

However, owning more than one credit card can come in handy if you use them intelligently. For example, you might want a card with 0% foreign transaction fees and complimentary insurance for an upcoming overseas trip, but a card with a low ongoing purchase rate and a competitive annual fee for everyday transactions. That way you'd save on international transaction fees on your holiday while keeping your everyday credit card costs to a minimum. Regardless of whether you have one or three credit cards, you should always aim to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest costs.

If you need help getting your multiple credit card debts under control, you might want to consider consolidating them into one debt and paying them off with a 0% balance transfer offer. You can also use finder's repayment calculator to determine how much you'll need to pay off each month to clear your credit card by your goal date.
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