New research conducted by an Australian comparison website has found that one in three Australians have defaulted on their credit card repayments.
The research by Finder.com.au found that 32.4 per cent of those surveyed said they had defaulted on credit card repayments, with men most likely to miss repayments compared to women.
Almost one in seven (14.4 per cent) Australians have defaulted on a personal loan, while over 10.3 per cent of borrowers have been behind on their mortgage.
The finder.com.au survey of 2,005 Australians found 17.5 per cent had missed one credit card repayment, while a further 14.9 per cent had missed more than one.
Finder’s money expert Bessie Hassan says repeat offenders risk damaging their credit score.
“You could also be penalised for not sticking to the repayment requirements by paying late payment fees and also getting a black mark against your credit file,” Ms Hassan said.
“A damaged credit history could mean you have trouble qualifying for a loan in the future as this is how creditors assess your ability to manage and repay debt,” she said.
Ms Hassan warns borrowers to speak up in their struggling to pay off their personal debt.
“If you’re struggling to meet repayments talk with your provider to negotiate the outstanding debt before it impacts your credit score.
Ms Hassan urged borrowers to assess whether they realistically have the ability to repay the debt and still meet other financial obligations.
“If you have any doubts about your ability to meet your repayments then you may want to consider other credit options, such as borrowing from family.”
[Related: Rising risk of mortgage defaults]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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