Date
18 December 2017
Many parents find it hard to manage the family budget as expenses for their growing children rise. Photo: Bloomberg
Many parents find it hard to manage the family budget as expenses for their growing children rise. Photo: Bloomberg

Parents owe biggest debt among credit card holders: survey

Parents owe 13 percent more credit card debt than other card holders, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday, citing a survey.

The poll, conducted by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong and commissioned by Prime Credit Ltd., showed that 204 respondents with kids below the age of 18 have an overdue credit card balance of HK$84,000 (US$10,832) on average. 

Some parents owe card firms up to HK$1 million, according to the survey which interviewed 516 credit card users with overdue balance.  

Robert Chung, the program director, said education and other expenses on children account for 26 percent of a household’s expenditures. These expenses include leisure and entertainment, supplementary classes, interest groups, tuition, school uniforms and medical bills.

Parents are also found of having a longer average repayment period that stretches across 18 months, two months more than those card debtors with no children.

The report cited the case of Jason, a 34-year-old parent, who has an overdue card balance of HK$200,000. The debt grew from his wedding expenses three years ago and spending on his twin daughters a year and a half later. 

Interests alone cost 60 percent of his monthly income, which is barely enough to meet rising costs of providing for his growing children, the report said.

Experts advise parents to be mindful of their credit card obligations as those who only pay the minimum monthly payments will find their financial burden growing and their ability to repay loans declining as costs rise.

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VW/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

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