Press Release

For immediate release

Tap and woe: The 8 credit card sins that 1.1 million Kiwis are guilty of

        • 42% of New Zealand credit card holders have used their card irresponsibly
        • Impulse buying and not checking statements are the top offenders
        • Tips for reducing your credit card debt

19 November 2021, Auckland, New Zealand – Credit card misuse is rife in New Zealand, according to new research by financial comparison site Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,528 credit card holders revealed 42% – equivalent to 1.1 million Kiwis – have committed a credit card sin in the past 12 months.

Almost 1 in 5 (18%) card holders admitted to impulse buying, while 1 in 8 (12%) don’t check their credit card statement.

The research shows 8% of card holders have made a late payment, while 1 in 10 (9%) have maxed out their credit card.

Only paying the minimum repayment (11%), taking out regular cash advances (4%), paying fees for more than 1 card (8%) and applying for credit cards they don’t need (2%) round out the top 8 credit card faux pas.

Angus Kidman, editor at large for Finder New Zealand, said it’s essential to use credit cards wisely.

“Savvy credit card management can literally save you thousands of dollars in interest and charges.

“The biggest risk that comes from credit card mistakes is a blemished credit score. This can affect your chances of getting a loan in the future,” Kidman said.

Finder research shows around 41% of Kiwis are carrying a credit card debt with total outstanding advances sitting at $6.2 billion.

Kdiman said there were some basic measures New Zealanders could take to protect their credit score.

“Start an emergency fund to lower the chances of maxing out a credit card if you are faced with an unexpected expense.

“Failing to pay the credit card bill on time attracts a penalty and could see you in a debt trap, so set up direct debits to make your repayments.

“If you do have a debt, look into balance transfer offers – you can cut the interest you’re paying and get out of debt faster.”

The research shows women (12%) are more likely to max out their credit card than men.

Almost 1 in 4 women (22%) make impulse purchases, compared to only 15% of men.

“Be intentional with your card usage – while some careless actions might only hurt you temporarily, others can be a huge burden,” Kidman said.

Have you engaged in any of the following credit card spending behaviours within the past 12 months?%
Impulse buying18%
Not checking my statement12%
Only making the minimum repayments each month11%
Maxing out my credit card9%
Paying fees for more than 1 credit card8%
Making a late payment8%
Taking out regular cash advances4%
Applying for new cards I don’t need2%
Other<1%
I haven’t done any of these58%
Source: Finder nationally representative survey of 1,528 credit card holders, June 2021

Tips for reducing your credit card debt

  • Take aim at the cards with the higher rates first. The card with the highest interest rate will often cost you the most in the long run, so try to smash the debt on it first. Make sure you are still paying the minimum on any and all cards to protect your credit score and keep you from being charged additional fees.
  • Put your card use on a timeout. Transition away from using credit for purchases (including buy now pay later schemes) and use your cash or debit card. This will help you pay down your debt faster.
  • Stay on top of your budget. Once you know how much is going in and how much you can afford to spend, you will be happier and more at peace.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Finder is a global comparison site, now available in New Zealand. Each month, 90,000 consumers turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. In New Zealand we compare credit cards, mortgages, travel insurance, shopping deals and more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has continued to expand and launch around the globe, with offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit https://www.finder.com/nz.

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