Addicted to debt: The average Australian’s debt is crippling them 100



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For most of us pensioners, we are trying to scrimp every cent and save every dollar, yet a new study has shown that the typical Australian is still in debt… and a lot of it.

According to new data, the average Australia now owes $357,500 on their mortgage, $3195 on their credit card and $18,000 on personal loans – a total of $378,695.

Regardless of how much we owe on our mortgages, it’s hard to fathom why there is so much debt owing on credit cards and loans. You’d think it was easy to live within your means but it seems that philosophy does not apply to some.

ASIC’s estimates the balance of cards accruing interest is actually $4800 per person.

Fairfax research has shown that the average Australian owes $2664 to the bank every month – that’s a staggering 42 per cent of the average monthly income.

That means our addiction to debt is leaving us with only 58 per cent of our earnings, and that’s before the taxman takes a cut.

We spend more on paying back interest that we do on groceries and other important bills.

It makes you wonder why there is still a mentality that you can chuck it on credit. A wise man once told me never to buy anything you can’t afford – imagine if everyone lived by that philosophy.

With all that said, it’s no surprise then that Australia has the largest debt per person in the world.

Barclays chief economist Kieran Davies told Yahoo! Australian household debt averages 130 per cent of GDP, compared to 78 per cent across the advanced world.

So what can be done to stop the spending? Where do we draw the line?


Tell us, do you think that household debt reduction should start at home, or should the banks have tougher restrictions on borrowing? Or should financial advice be more freely available?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. If you are poor you are in debt if you are rich you dont have to worry,,,when you are not so well off you find it diffecult ,so you get loan to help get ahead, but you must budget if you can .. being a bit well off you still have to watch your spending ,, i found out when i was in bussiness and learnt a lot off my accountant….

    2 REPLY
  2. Well that’s Labor thinking – Spend, spend, spend and then borrow, borrow and borrow. Trouble is these people and Labor always blame someone else. Must be part of the addiction.

    12 REPLY
    • I can’t see any logic whatsoever in your comment Joe Rudzyn. People’s debt is not in any way related to their political beliefs. Rather, it is an inability, for any number of reasons, to live within their means.

    • Maureen Hogan – I have always lived within my means. However Labor never lives within its means and teaches all their voters to do the same thing. We have developed this entitlement attitude that we can live very well at somebody else’s expense. Labour created this attitude and too many people live it today.

    • Well said, Lyn Bradford. Politics does not come into it, and it is inappropriate to include it in the discussion.

    • Lyn Bradford – Glad you think that way Lyn, however I intend to hold onto my opinion. I have debt that is linked to investment property’s and that’s where the debt should lay.

    • Maureen Hogan – Sorry, but politicians teach people how to behave through example. Their language is dreadful and the public is following through.

    • Nonsense Joe, if the politicians told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it… Foolish people buy things they can’t afford..

    • So if politicians are teaching us how to behave through example Joe does that mean we can all go out and steal money from the public like Bishop has?..give us a break, we all make decisions for ourselves without politicians teaching us what to do.

    • Kerry Harper – Lyn Bradford – No it means you can steel from Unions. Julia Guillard will help you set up a company to steel from Unions. If you join a union you may be able to get prostitution paid for.

    • I’m amazed by your comments Joe Rudzyn ….. I had to read your comments a couple of times before it sunk in …. are you serious ???? So, it’s all Labor supporters who are in debt ! Oh dear, get a life, your comments are so rediculous. Such unintelligent comments. You obviously are a Liberal supporter, so if have thoughts like you, you must be a liar.

    • The way I handle my finances is influenced by the way I was brought up, raising a family and the financial position I held for many years during my working life, nothing to do with my political preferences !

    • Joe you are talking nonsense. People get into debt because they spend money that they don’t have. Nothing to do with politicians, labor or Liberal, or whoever!

  3. We have the richest banks in the world because of the massive charges on credit cards and all the other fees and charges they hit us with . But people keep on charging everything and that’s why the average credit card debt per person is $4800 . Its just a never ending story , but life goes on and I guess we are lucky we are not trying to get money out of Greek banks !

  4. Banks are making huge profits out of credit card users, it time they system had an over haul to make things fairer for the consumer

  5. I only have our farm mortgage, shared with family.
    Personal debt is currently a few hundred. Pay off my credit card in full each month. Never spend more than can pay back.

  6. I am in this mess too but i dont believe we should blame all onto banks or anyone else we still can so NO but we are too weak

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