Credit Card Spending v Repayments


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There are always plenty of news stories about how much Australians, and other countries, spend on their credit cards, and highlighting the increasing ‘indebtedness‘ of credit card holders.

But, how do the amounts repaid compare to what we all spend ?

A source of this information is available from the Reserve Bank of Australia, and I have annualised some figures in the following table:

    Spend ($m) Repayments ($m) Change
    Jun-1995 $22,931 $23,048 $116.94
    Jun-1996 $27,073 $27,021 $52.47
    Jun-1997 $31,196 $31,415 -$219.34
    Jun-1998 $39,974 $39,875 $98.61
    Jun-1999 $51,888 $51,432 $455.68
    Jun-2000 $68,184 $66,970 $1,213.81
    Jun-2001 $85,026 $84,030 $996.48
    Jun-2002 $106,165 $106,030 $134.87
    Jun-2003 $131,910 $132,004 -$94.13
    Jun-2004 $147,712 $147,266 $445.32
    Jun-2005 $162,834 $163,324 -$489.80
    Jun-2006 $176,843 $177,046 -$202.81
    Jun-2007 $193,291 $195,554 $2,262.96
    Jun-2008 $212,188 $214,839 -$2,650.42
    Jun-2009 $220,171 $225,339 -$5,168.36
    Jun-2010 $232,028 $234,939 -$2,910.99

Although showing an increase every year in the amount spent, it also shows an increase in the amounts repaid, especially in the later years from 2007. The figures in the “change column” show the difference between spending and repayments, with those figures in RED being where the amount repaid during the year exceeds the amount spent.

Adding up those totals, it shows, (in $m’s):
$1,909,413 Total Spent on Cards July 1994 to June 2010
$1,920,132 Total Repaid on these cards in that time frame


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With the total repaid being higher than that spent, maybe most Card holders are not that bad after all.

Source: www.rba.gov Credit and Charge Card Statistics C1

However, those figures do NOT show the interest charged, and this needed to be calculated from the figures available, and this resulted in the following table (all figures quoted in A$millions):

    Year Spending Interest ? Repaid Balance %
    Jun-1995 $23,165 $772 $23,331 $5,789 97.5%
    Jun-1996 $27,233 $1,019 $27,133 $6,909 96.0%
    Jun-1997 $31,839 $1,115 $32,062 $7,801 97.3%
    Jun-1998 $41,047 $1,268 $40,825 $9,291 96.5%
    Jun-1999 $53,007 $1,220 $52,522 $10,995 96.9%
    Jun-2000 $69,974 $1,645 $68,734 $13,880 96.0%
    Jun-2001 $85,571 $1,841 $84,811 $16,481 97.0%
    Jun-2002 $108,515 $4,832 $108,404 $21,424 95.6%
    Jun-2003 $133,737 $2,841 $133,725 $24,277 97.9%
    Jun-2004 $149,501 $2,844 $148,876 $27,747 97.7%
    Jun-2005 $163,710 $3,928 $164,015 $31,370 97.8%
    Jun-2006 $178,353 $5,802 $178,929 $36,597 97.2%
    Jun-2007 $194,036 $6,413 $196,289 $40,756 97.9%
    Jun-2008 $214,107 $5,802 $216,760 $43,905 98.6%
    Jun-2009 $221,206 $6,063 $226,283 $44,891 99.6%
    Jun-2010 $233,121 $6,086 $236,103 $47,994 98.7%

The last column shows the percentage repaid in each year of the total charged to cards INCLUDING the interest, and other card fees.

The interest/fees figure was calculated by taking each previous years balance, adding the years spend figure, subtracting the repayments, and the resulting difference between that figure and the stated balance, is taken to be Interest and Card Fees.

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