Free publication on credit provides helpful consumer information

Sydney, 13 October 2010: Information on how to choose a credit product which suits your needs and how to manage it successfully is available from the Australian Bankers’ Association’s (ABA) new updated free publication – ‘Smarter Banking: Make Credit Work for You’.

Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said: “Most people use some form of credit and customers want to know that they are choosing the right product for their needs. This publication gives people the information they need to make the right choice.”

The publication, which is available online and in hard copy, contains facts about credit and essential information such as:
  • different types of credit and different credit providers;
  • the costs of credit;
  • credit and the law;
  • helpful tips on keeping credit under control; and
  • what to do if credit becomes a problem.

Mr Münchenberg said: “The vast majority of Australians manage their credit cards sensibly and responsibly. Customers like the convenience provided by credit cards, and the ability to manage their day-to-day purchases.”

“But credit cards are not the only credit choices for consumers. This publication provides helpful information to those consumers who are thinking about using a credit product to make a purchase or help them achieve their financial goals. This guide is intended to assist people choose the type of credit product which suits their needs and the ways they want to use the product, for example – a credit card, a personal loan or a home loan.”

“Banks and other credit providers have an array of credit products available, so it’s important for people to select the product that meets their needs.”

Mr Münchenberg said the release of the revised publication is timely as some have expressed concern about the level of debt in the community.

“While there have been reports that household debt looks high, over the past three years the household debt ratio is actually growing at its slowest pace in 20 years. On credit cards, the average credit card limit per card is only growing at 2.9%, broadly consistent with the CPI. Household savings rates are also higher than their average over the last 10 years.”
“Banks know from customer experience that credit defaults are related to unemployment, illness and family breakdown. Banks also know that people want information, to assist them make the right choices and help them if their circumstances change. This publication provides this information.”

Mr Münchenberg said the revised publication has taken into consideration the new consumer credit laws which started to come into effect on 1 July, 2010, and the fact that some fees, for example, some exception fees, have been abolished or reduced.

“It’s important for people to be aware of these changes which have been designed so that consumers are better informed about credit and have better choices about credit products.”

‘Smarter Banking: Make Credit Work for You’ is available free from the Australian Bankers’ Association. A hard copy of the booklet can be ordered from the ABA – simply freecall 1800 009 180 and we will mail it to you. Or you can download a copy of the publication from our website: http://www.bankers.asn.au/make_credit_work_for_you/default.html

For further information:

Heather Wellard
Director, Public Relations
Phone: 02 8298 0411
Mobile: 0409 830 439

ENDS

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