THE most recent Australian Financial Security Authority report shows Mackay residents are two times more likely to declare bankruptcy than someone in inner city Brisbane.
Credit compliance expert Laurence Barlow said it had contributed to a massive credit crunch in the region.
“One in five people in Mackay have been banned from borrowing with mainstream financial lenders because they’ve been late, or haven’t paid bills from mobile phone companies, utilities or credit providers,” Mr. Barlow said.
“There is a growing number of cash-strapped locals getting themselves into financial trouble.”
“The majority of these credit problems stem from an unpaid mobile phone bill…
“If you’re more than 60 days late paying a telephone bill that’s more than $150, you can be blacklisted from getting traditional credit.
“Most people don’t even realize what’s going on – they only find out when they next try to apply for a credit card or set up a new utility account.”
“A couple of unwise decisions later – like resorting to payday loans – and things can quickly spiral into a vicious cycle of more debt.”
Mr. Barlow said these were the most common reasons Mackay residents are on the credit blacklist:
- Telco bill: This is the main area where locals get into strife and the big players are the worst. If they want to play hardball they can mark your credit file if you’re more over 60 days late on a payment of $150 or more.
- Credit cards: A credit card or personal loan payment made more than 14 days late can mean your credit rating is downgraded; after 60 days you can get a default which stays on your file for five years.
- Utilities: Late payments for utility bills such as gas or electricity can affect your credit score if you’re 60 days or more overdue on payment.
The AFSA report shows that the number of people who went bankrupt rose 11% across the country last quarter.
About 2500 of those came from resource reliant Queensland – more than any other state of territory.
The Daily Mercury – Article Link: http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/15-cash-strapped-mackay-locals-banned-borrowing-ca/3076161/