Before the recession hit, credit cards were used to buy nice things. Things like new clothes, holidays and expensive make-up. Since the economic crisis, however, their use has become much more mundane.
The Irish Sun reports that a quarter of credit card holders use them to simply make ends meet and nearly half don’t know what their interest rate is.
Reports from the Irish League of Credit Unions found that 1.82million Irish people are left with just €100 a month to live on after they pay their bills and other household expenses. And at least 46 per cent of people with a credit card have no idea what interest rate they are charged every time they use their credit card.
On average, consumers owe €1,100 on their credit cards and nearly 40 per cent use their cards to pay their household bills on a regular basis.
“The issue of personal debt is something we are hearing more and more about and the issue is a growing concern, particularly for those who are relying on their credit card to make ends meet every month,” said Kieron Brennan, the chief of the Irish League of Credit Unions.
“Many of this group may not be in a position to pay off their credit card bills in full each month and will be subject to high interest rates,” he added.
According to reports, mortgage and rent continue to be the most expensive bills for the majority of people, with 72 per cent saying that they struggle with these two bills the most.
So what can be done? Aside from educating ourselves about credit cards, not much else.
“We urge people to take time to understand their bank charges and credit card interest rates,” said Mr Brennan.
Have you ever used your credit card to help with your bills?