Average credit card debt over €1,300

Average credit card debt over €1,300

Credit card debt remains high in Ireland

The average credit card debt in Ireland stands at €1,330, down only marginally from 2008 when credit card debt peaked, according to figures supplied to an Oireachtas Committee.

Giving evidence to the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, the Head of Statistics at the Central Bank, Joe McNeill, said that although overall indebtedness is falling, there is a core of historic debt that is not being repaid.

Mr McNeill said that overall households are spending less than they are earning, but that the money is going toward repaying debts rather than spending. He said this has negative implications for consumption.

Mr McNeill said the total level of credit card debt had fallen from just under €3 billion at the end of 2008 to €2.6 billion by the end of last year. Part of the fall was due to some credit card companies leaving the Irish market.

But he added that average debt per card had not fallen significantly, with a decrease from €1,350 at the end of 2008 to €1,330.

Mr McNeill said the Central Bank not have a breakdown of where the debt lay, but would be conducting a household income survey over the coming months to get more accurate detail on the financial position of a sample of households.

The Committee heard that overall personal debt, including mortgages, amounts to €190 billion. This compared to overall assets of €600 billion. But again Mr McNeill said there was no breakdown of how the assets were dispersed among the population.

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