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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

Disposable income on the rise but 1/3 rely on credit card to make ends meet

The latest survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions shows the number of people with no money left over after essential bills has fallen by almost 40,000.

Image: credit card via Shutterstock

ALMOST 800,000 ADULTS across Ireland are relying on their credit card to make ends meet, a survey released today shows.

Of the more than 2.6 million who have a credit card, 30 per cent are falling behind on their repayments, although this represents a fall of 39 per cent from December 2012.

The figures are revealed in the latest edition of the Irish League of Credit Union’s (ILCU) ‘What’s Left’ Tracker, and detail how much disposable income people have left after paying off essential household expenses.

This has risen by almost €50 since December 2012, and most adults are now left with €182 left at the end of the month.


13 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed said their disposable income has risen, something that Kieron Brennan, CEO of ILCU, said is a further sign of recovery in the economy.

“However, despite this, people continue to struggle and a significant proportion of the population are struggling to pay household bills on time every month,” he said.

480,000 people have no disposable income at the end of the month, a fall of almost 40,000 since September 2013.

For those with money leftover, the number choosing to save has risen more than 10 per cent since 2012.

4 in 10 home-owners are planning to make some kind of sacrifice in order to pay the property tax, most likely socialising (64 per cent) and clothing (55 per cent), but are most likely to keep up their mortgage and car insurance payments.

Read: ATM fraud rose in 2013, so how do you spot a suspect machine? >

Poll: Should Ireland have a guaranteed income? >

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Nicky Ryan

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