Aussies ex­plore credit op­tions

Townsville Bulletin - - Weekend Extra -

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.

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