Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

Minister for Education and Training; South West

    Young people urged to avoid Christmas debt

    21/12/2005 12:00 AM

    Youth Minister Mark McGowan today warned young people to avoid the Christmas credit trap and starting the New Year in debt.

    Mr McGowan said debt among young Australians was a serious problem, often brought about through the use of credit cards and interest free offers.

    “Youth debt is on the increase, and this is often exacerbated during the festive season,” he said.

    The Minister said calls to the Youth Legal Service’s financial counsellor increased significantly in February/March as a direct result of overspending at Christmas.

    “Credit is easy to access and, as a result, young people can easily spend beyond their means,” he said.

    “It is also important that people remember to continue to pay their rent and their usual bills, rather than putting them off to buy presents.

    “I strongly urge all young people to work out what they can afford before they go shopping and stick to their budgets.”

    Mr McGowan recommended that young people access a copy of ‘Managing and Avoiding Debt: A Young Person’s Guide’ - an information kit designed to highlight common ways young people got caught in the ‘debt trap’ and how those in debt could manage their finances.

    The guide is available from the Office for Children and Youth on 6217 8400, or via:

    Minister's office - 9222 9111