Reconsider pulling out the credit cards this Christmas

Accountant Brian Davis says credit cards a not a good idea. Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News
Accountant Brian Davis says credit cards a not a good idea. Photo Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

RECONSIDERING whether you need or can afford a credit card is the best way to avoid excess debt.

Credit cards can be convenient and helpful in a pinch, but many people find they lose control of their spending and have trouble maintaining a budget.

Added interest, cash advance charges and other pitfalls can haunt those who aren't careful with their card and don't read carefully into small print terms and conditions.

Brian Davis of Business Development Solutions is an accountant and financial planner and reckons most people could do without credit cards.

"The best card is a debit card," he said.

Mr Davis found that people did not realise they were overusing their credit card until it was too late.

"People get themselves into a real bind," he said.

Mr Davis recommended leaving the credit card at home and being careful with how they use their card when they do need it.

"Buy only what you can afford to pay," he said.

He also thought that credit card interest rates were over the top and should be considered carefully when purchases were made.

"The interest rates are extortionate," he said.

Mr Davis was adamant that people should seek help if they were having trouble with debt.

"The best thing is to approach a bank or other financial institution and consolidate their debts into one loan," he said.

Users on the Daily News Facebook page all agreed that credit cards were a waste of time and money.

Paul Chapman said he'd got rid of his credit card long ago.

"I cut mine up 20 years ago, problem fixed," he said.

Sharon Turley agreed with that sentiment and thought credit cards were pointless.

"Debit card is the only way to shop, no credit hassles then," she said.

The average Australian has $53,000 in credit card debt and there approximately 15 million credit cards in circulation in Australia.

This compares to an average of $42,000 debt for Americans.

Australian's spent roughly $21 billion on their credit cards in November last year.

Credit cards were originally created for early vehicle adopters in 1920's America so they could buy fuel.

Topics:  credit card dea carroll financial advice saving

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