Martin Lee @ Sg
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Personal Debt Bomb

This Personal Debt Bomb warning sounded by Kuo How Name, President of Credit Counselling Singapore, comes at a good time.

The consumer debt in Singapore has been growing steadily with double digit growth.

A huge component is due to property loans, which now totals $111 billion.

Rollover balances on credit cards has also crossed the $4 billion mark. This is the amount the incurs the hefty 24% pa interest charge.

That is a staggering figure when you consider that there are six million cards issued and the average individual carries 5-6 cards.

Usually, most people will use one or two main cards. Which means to say out of about one million active cards, there’s $4b in rollover balance. This is an average of $4000 per card!

Looks like some high rollers are rolling over their debt.

Rule number one in using a credit card is to pay off the outstanding balance in full every month.

Leave a Comment:

James Tan says 12 years ago

The average Singaporean can’t easily increase his income. He has a job. He earns a limited amount of money. Or he has a fixed retirement income. Unless he is young enough to still have career choices in front of him, his income is already effectively set. His choices have already been made.

So if he wants to improve his financial circumstances, all he can do is to work on the expense side of the ledger, not the income side. And while the income side is helped by “commission” – that is, by doing things…the expense side is helped by “omission” – that is, by not doing things.

Want the secret to financial success? Make sure the expense number is lower than the income number. How complicated is that?

What’s the solution to over-spending? The most obvious solution for all is: Nothing! Cut spending by not doing anything!
Stop doing it. Don’t spend. See something you want? Don’t buy it. See something you need? Think again; you probably don’t really need it.

Therefore, most Singaporean’s lives are easy to improve. They don’t have to do anything. They just have to stop doing things that are “stupid”.

The same could be said of most fat people. What’s the solution to fatness? Easy… Nothing. Just don’t eat so much. Don’t fix a big meal. Don’t go out to a restaurant. Don’t have a second helping. Just don’t do it. 100% guarantee it will work.

Panzer says 12 years ago

It is not so much credit cards that are the cause of the growth of consumer credit. There are just tools that banks use to entice us to adopt the materialism mindset of obtaining instant gratification or enjoy now and pay later mentality towards finances.

The underlying root cause is adoption of consumerism or spending to be happy coupled with lack of financial literacy amongst the average wage earner and our inability to resist the temptations of a live for now culture that is more prevalent nowadays.

To tackle this issue, we need to do more to promote financial literacy in formal education. Unfortunately, during my time and I am a CPA by training, there was nothing available except the Squirrel Savers by POSB which was a great scheme.

The challenge is to impart into our next generation the ability to delay gratification and to learn to save up for something they really need versus what they want.

Be well and prosper. 🙂

The Watchman says 12 years ago

Rule #1 don’t carry a credit card.
Rule #2 if you have cut them up
Rule #3 is Rule #1.

Jason says 12 years ago

Encourage to watch Suze Orman show, teaching us the proper ways to plan our finances…

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