A matter of life and debt

A matter of life and debt

There's a credit card here for every man, woman and child.

Yes, about five million credit cards, with a rollover debt of around $4 billion.

And about one in five credit card holders has been rolling his debt for three months.

The data comes from Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS), which collates personal credit histories to help financial institutions assess individuals before they give out a loan.

Take Mr Tan for example.

Last year, the 54-year-old owed $218,000 from having used 12 cards to roll over his debts.

"At times when I don't have enough, I only pay the minimum amount. The danger is that sometimes when you get too busy, you don't really take stock," the father of two told The New Paper.

"It creeps up on you until one fine day, when it gets too much to handle."

Mr Tan, who declined to give his full name, is one of more than 250,000 people who have let their debts revolve for three months and are sitting on a financial time bomb.

A CBS spokesman said that out of this quarter million, those in the 35- to 39-year-old age bracket featured most prominently.

But it is not just credit cards.

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