Everything you need to know about bankruptcy
There have been several financial crises in the past decade. This has led to many Australians having to declare bankruptcy because their savings have disappeared overnight! The most recent case of this was in 2012 and 2013 when over 20,000 Australians declared bankruptcy! Even more had to take up loans or debt agreements to keep up their financial status. Business failures, divorces or even unexpected medical bills can also lead to bankruptcy.
BANKRUPTCY IN AUSTRALIA
It’s easier than you think for Australian’s to slip into bad credit or bankruptcy. Australia’s personal debt rates are one of the highest in the world! Although much of this is due to increasing property prices, the average amount of debt has nearly doubled! The latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Household Income place the current debt in 2016 at $168,600!
In fact, a study found that 29% or 2.9 million Australian households had much more debt than income. This is called the debt-to-income ratio. In the early 1990s, this ratio was at 70% for Australians, which isn’t too bad. However, today, the rate stands at an astounding 185%! That’s a record high that Australians shouldn’t want to break. When the global economy suffers, this high personal debt rates will place many Australians at risk of bankruptcy.
BANKRUPTCY AND DEBT STATISTICS IN AUSTRALIA
Common types of debt in Australia
Overall in Australia, 75% of households have debts but what are Australians spending on? Here are the most common types of debt in Australia. If you fall into any of these categories, are you in danger of bankruptcy?
- 55% of Australians have credit card debt.
- 34% of Australians have home loan debt.
- 17% of Australians have student loan debt.
- Unfortunately, many Australians have more than one type of debt.
Debt statistics in Australia by city
Read on if you want to know if your city has the highest debt or bankruptcy rates in Australia!
- 32% of Darwin residents had the highest amounts of debt in Australia.
- 27% of Perth residents had the second highest amounts of debt in Australia.
- 407,000 Sydney residents were over-indebted with the highest debt-to-income ratios in Australia.
- 419,600 Melbourne residents were over-indebted with the second highest debt-to-income ratios in Australia.
Debt statistics in Australia by age
Ever feel like the younger generation has more money problems than older generations? You’re right!
- 62% of younger households (ages 25-34) had higher rates of debt-to-income ratios.
- 51% of Australians aged 35-44 reported more debt than income ratios.
Bankruptcy is not something you should enter into without consideration, however, it is not the end of the world either. If you think you might be in danger of bankruptcy or have bad credit, read on to find out how you can bounce back to success!
THINGS THAT CAN IMPACT YOUR CREDIT SCORE
- 35% of your credit score is dependent on whether you pay your bills on time. Pay your bills on time to avoid unnecessarily hurting your credit score. If you need a bit of spare cash to pay the bills, get a quick loan from Good People Bad Credit!
- The second most impactful factor on your credit score is your level of debt, especially in relation to your credit limit. This is called credit utilisation. If you’ve got debt that’s above your credit limit, your credit score could decrease.
- Even if you don’t have debt exceeding your credit limit, having maxed out credit cards will bring your credit utilisation to 100%. This also decreases your credit score.
- Cancelling credit cards are another reason you could have bad credit. It’s advisable to only cancel one credit card per year. If you decide to cancel a credit card that still has an outstanding balance, this could be even worse! In this case, your credit limit drops while the debt remains. Experts advise to pay off your debts before cancelling the card. If you’re regularly paying off your credit card bills, this can actually improve your credit score. This is because it’s a regular account that you are able to pay off your bills.
- Credit history is an important 15% of your credit score. The longer your credit history, the better your score. Therefore, if you close old credit cards or accounts, your credit history will look shorter than it really is, impacting your credit score.
BANKRUPTCY MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
You’ll be homeless if you declare bankruptcy.
Although your home may be put up as collateral, your trustee and creditors should have come to an agreement. This means that you’ll have to pay a predetermined amount every month. It’ll be a fair amount that you should be able to meet. As long as you meet your requirements, your home will be safe. However, if, for some reason, you are unable to meet the requirements set out in your bankruptcy agreement, it’s important to get help immediately! Talk to your trustee and your creditors so that you might be able to come to a fast resolution.
Bankruptcy can cause you to lose your job.
It’s true that your employer or potential employers are able to look at your credit report. However, this is a different type of report from that which your loan provider might be able to access. Furthermore, bankruptcy is not a justified means of termination. It’s actually considered to be unethical and discriminatory because bad credit can happen to anyone! Consider talking to a professional if you feel like you’ve been unfairly terminated due to bankruptcy.
All your debts are wiped away when you enter into bankruptcy.
Entering into bankruptcy might wipe away your individual debts, however, you’re not getting off scot-free. HECS loans, tax debts and debt due to fraud remain intact. If you’re not sure if your debts will be cleared if you declare bankruptcy, talk to a bankruptcy administrator.
You can’t get credit when you declare bankruptcy.
Getting a loan is a good way to bring your bad credit score up or to turn your financial situation around after declaring bankruptcy. However, if you’ve recently declared bankruptcy, getting credit can be difficult, but not impossible. At Good People Bad Credit, we just need to see proof that you have been working towards saving and have a stable income. Bankruptcy can follow you for up to 5 years, but that doesn’t mean you need to be financially handicapped for that long.
TIPS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM BANKRUPTCY
- Find out what caused your bankruptcy and work to fix it.
- Get clear financial goals. Talk to a professional if you need help.
- Check your credit score. It does not hurt your credit score for you to check it. It’s free and easy!
- Slowly re-establish your credit by regularly paying off bills, including credit card bills. If possible, keep on your oldest credit card because this ensures a longer credit history!
- Avoid unfair deals. If you need a quick loan, Good People Bad Credit will search tons of trusted lenders to find a loan that’s suitable for you. We promote responsible lending so we won’t find you a loan that will put you in financial hardship.
- Seek support from others in your position or who have been in your position. It’s pretty common to be in debt in Australia. Talking about your challenges can not only help you but others as well!
- Think positively! You manifest what you think!
8 SIGNS OF DEBT TROUBLE
What if you’re not sure about your financial situation? It could happen that you’re in debt before you even realise it! After all, hindsight is 20-20. Well no longer! Here are some common signs of debt trouble that you might want to look out for!
- Your credit card balances or debts are more than your monthly income. It makes sense to spend less than you earn. However, you might not even realise how much you’ve spent until the bills pile up!
- You regularly pay only the minimum amount of your accounts. While paying the minimum account can keep your accounts from going into the red, you also incur some heavy interest fees. That’s just throwing money away mate.
- You have an intricate bill juggling scheme. If you’re depending on credit cards or juggling pay checks to pay off all your bills, you might want to seek help before it’s too late. While juggling bills might work every now and then, if it’s a monthly routine, it’s dangerous. All it takes is an unexpected expense or large bill to unravel your delicate system.
- Do you have more credit cards than chips at a pokies? You might be in credit card debt without even realising it. However, don’t go out and cancel your cards either. This can cause your credit score to drop, which could take years to rebuild.
- You’re closer to your credit limit than white is to rice. The closer you are to your limits, the higher your credit utilisation score and lower your credit score.
- Your emergency fund or savings are consistently being used to pay for your monthly expenses. This is a big warning sign because it means you’re relying on your savings! If there’s an emergency you could fall into debt.
- You aren’t sure about your debts or credit balances. It’s always important to be aware of your own financial obligations. It can be scary, but the unexpected is always scarier. Find out how much you owe and take steps to fix the situation. If you’re unsure how to do this, talk to a professional today!
- You use your credit card because you don’t have spare money. Credit cards should be seen as more of a convenience than a necessity.
EXPENSE TRACKING TIPS
If you want to cut back on your expenses, the first step it to know exactly what you spend your money on. To do this you’ll need to keep track of your expenses. It is an effective way for you to see exactly which expenses you could cut back on.
A good way to do this is by using an expense tracker app. Here is a list of some of the best expenses apps you can use.
Track My Spend – Created by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), this expense tracker is a great free app! Give yourself a weekly, fortnightly or monthly budget and it’ll help you track your spending. All you have to do is put in your expenses and let the app track how much you have left on your budget!
Pocketbook – Another great tracker to help you manage your spending. Pocketbook is seamless in its use! All you have to do is syncs it with your bank accounts. It’ll track your expenses and tell you how much you have spent that month. Pocketbook even divides your expenses into categories and tracks regular payments like bills! If you’re worried about forgetting to input an expense, this is the app for you. It also gives you a summary of the income you have earnt that month!
If you’re worried about your financial situation, these tips should tell you all you need to know. Look out for the warning signs and get professional help early to minimise the impact on yourself! If you’re ready to bounce back from bankruptcy or improve your bad credit score, ask us how a loan could help you. Visit Good People Bad Credit today! We believe that bad credit can and does happen to anyone, but that shouldn’t stop you from living your best life.