Borrowers will have to wait until next year to get their first credit card after a boom in the country’s economy is now starting to wear off.
The Reserve Bank said it was planning to issue 2,200 new credit cards, which would be issued to borrowers with the highest credit scores, who have no outstanding debts, before the end of the year.
Borrowers who already have credit cards could be able to get new cards next year, the bank said, adding that the credit cards would have to have a balance of at least $1,000.
It is expected that about one million of the 2,000 new cards would be given to borrowers whose credit scores have reached an average of 620 and above, it said.
Those with an average score of about 600 or less could be given a card, while those with a score of 615 or less would have the option of buying one.
“Borrower satisfaction has been on the rise and we believe that is a reflection of the new credit card system we have implemented,” said the RBA governor, Ben Stokes.
The RBA said the number of people who had their credit scores increased to an average 620 on the latest data available last month was up on the previous quarter.
“This shows the impact that we have had on the credit rating of the financial system and is likely to be a contributing factor to the rising credit card numbers,” Mr Stokes said.
However, the RBC said the credit card boom would continue for a while, at least for those who already had credit cards.
“In addition to those already receiving credit cards for the first time, many more borrowers are likely to receive new credit, as we are introducing new products to offer the highest possible interest rates,” it said in a statement.
“We are also increasing the number and range of new credit options available to our existing customers, as part of our efforts to ensure our customers are better off financially.”
While we are able to keep a lid on new card issuance, there is still a significant amount of credit that remains unsecured.
“There are currently about 13 million credit cards in circulation in Australia, with an estimated 1.5 million issued every month.
A survey conducted by the Australian Credit Reporting and Processing Corporation found that the average annual interest rate on credit cards had been increasing for five years.