Frenzied Christmas shopping can lead to a debt filled new year

On the eve of web marketing event Click Frenzy, MoneyHelp has warned Australian consumers to consider their next credit card bill before proceeding to the virtual checkout. MoneyHelp, one of Australia’s biggest financial counselling services, said Christmas bargains could quickly lose their value if they’re purchased using high interest charging credit cards.

Click Frenzy is modelled on the US’s Cyber Monday, and centralises hundreds of online deals in one location for 24 hours.

It is easy to get caught up in sales hype leading up to Christmas, whether buying in store or on-line.  But MoneyHelp encourages Australians to think carefully before making purchases based on time limited sales.

‘Credit card debt is a problem common to most of our clients at MoneyHelp, and we’ve seen how pre Christmas shopping on expensive credit cards can make for a very unhappy new year,’ said Penelope Hill, Advice Services Manager at MoneyHelp.

‘We often hear from people who’ve put purchases on credit thinking they’ll be able to pay it off immediately, but it only takes an unexpected power bill or a car breakdown to ruin those plans. And once you start paying twenty per cent interest on your credit card it can be hard to escape from under your debt.’

Ms Hill said she understood that giving gifts was one of the most rewarding parts of the holiday season, but that consumers should consider what they can afford to spend before getting caught up in sales gimmicks likeClick Frenzy.

‘This type of marketing is designed to get you to make on the spot decisions – all we’re saying is take a deep breath before typing in your credit card details and consider your financial position before buying.’

Australians struggling with credit card debt can contact a free, independent and confidential financial counsellor by calling 1800 007 007.