Creditcardfinder.com.au data has predicted Australians will rack up $27 billion in sales this month, up from $26 billion this time last year.

This figure came through projections made from calculations based on the past five years of credit card spending in December.

Michelle Hutchinson, from Creditcardfinder.com.au said most of this money would be spent on Boxing Day.

“Because it (credit card debt) is increasing every year, it is concerning that many people are spending beyond their means,” she told reporters.

Low interest rates and fuel prices are leaving many shoppers with money after their bills are paid; adding more fuel to the already blazing post-Christmas buying fire.

Ms Hutchinson said shoppers need to exercise restraint. Interest rates won’t stay low forever. “It’s really easy to go crazy at this time of the year, with the sales,” she said.

“People need to remember that it is not about the discount, it is about the actual amount of money you end up spending.”

For those unable to restrain themselves, Ms Hutchinson said there was still hope. “There are loads of credit cards with balance transfer deals offering zero interest for up to 18 months.”

Australian Securities and Investments commission data reveals Australians currently have $33 billion worth of credit card debt. This equates to $4,200 per card holder. They further revealed the average card holder was paying around $750 each year in interest on their purchases, with interest between 15 and 20 per cent.

ASIC issued these tips to pay off credit card debt sooner:

  1. Stop buying. Adding to the current debt will only make things worse.
  2. Pay more than the minimum repayment. Anything more will help whittle down the principal interest-attracting amount.
  3. Make fixed amount direct debit repayments each payday from your account.
  4. If you own more than one credit card, pay off the highest interest bearing ones first. Or tackle the smallest debts first.

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