Aussies explore credit options
AUSTRALIANS spending up big before Christmas have been increasingly turning to interest free personal loans from shops to afford their purchases, a leading credit rating agency has found.
Baycorp Advantage says applications for store credit and personal loans from stores, which offer an interest-free period, increased by 12 per cent in October and November.
According to Baycorp’s Consumer Credit Demand Index, 515,508 Australians applied for personal loans in that period, 53,987 more consumers than the corresponding period last year.
Meanwhile, credit card applications jumped 29,457, or 5 per cent, to 613,108.
General manager, Information Services and Solutions Erica Hughes said while credit cards were still the most popular type of credit, personal loans and store credit were bridging the gap.
‘‘By the end of November we’d already had almost as many personal loan applications in the 11 months of 2006 as we did in all of last year,’’ she said.
Ms Hughes said the Index showed Australians were more willing to accept different credit options.
‘‘It shows that Australians are becoming a lot smarter in how they use credit and are thinking a lot more about what is the best product for them, whether that be a card or a loan,’’ she said.