The Covid-19 pandemic saw Aussies take advantage of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to save and pay down debts, taking credit cards to the sword.

However since then, spending has been elevated. Yet debts remain at a fairly consistent level, implying Aussies are comfortable carrying credit card balances but pay their statements off in-time to avoid getting hit with interest.

Further, since its introduction in 2018, Australians have welcomed Osko and the New Payments Platform to transfer money in near real-time, which is a big benefit over yesteryear's waiting days for funds to clear.

Monthly payments data provided by the ABS and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) details a number of insights into how we ultimately tap, swipe and use the pieces of plastic that lie within our wallets.


In the market for a personal loan? The table below features unsecured personal loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.

Lender

FixedUnsecuredN/AMore details
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

Low Rate Personal Loan Unsecured (Excellent Credit)

  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
FixedUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

Unsecured Personal Loan (Excellent Credit)

    VariableUnsecuredN/AN/AMore details

    Personal Loan

      Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

      All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

      The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

      Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of April 17, 2024. View disclaimer.


      Australian credit card debt

      See the total value of Australia’s personal credit card debt, plus the total credit card debt that’s accruing interest.

      Monthly credit card purchases

      Australian's appetite for credit remains strong, with the number and value of credit card purchases not far off record highs, despite the sharp fall in credit card debt.

      Monthly credit card repayments

      See the total value of credit card repayments made each month.

      Credit vs debit card spending

      Debit card spending continues to outpace credit card spending. Debit card spend first overtook credit card spend in May 2019, before the onset of the pandemic appeared to widen the gap further.

      Number of credit cards vs debit cards

      The number of active credit accounts continues to decline as Australians look to continue to pay off debts and chop the pieces of plastic held in their wallets in two. Meanwhile, the number of debit cards on issue is steadily rising.

      Cash withdrawals

      With ATM use dwindling, cash withdrawals have also taken a dive in recent times.

      NPP payments

      Since launching in 2018, the usage of the New Payments Platform (NPP), which allows instant transfers (e.g. Osko payments), has continued to rise.

      Cheque usage

      In an age where digital payments rule the roost, cheque usage continues to decline. The government has the goal of eliminating cheques from the payments system by 2030. Many banks have acted with more haste; for example, Macquarie Bank will phase-out cheques completely by November 2024.

      Image by Mark O'Flynn via Unsplash