The holiday season has well and truly faded away but Wagga families could still be paying off their Christmas credit card purchases by Santa’s next visit.
It comes after a new forecast of Reserve Bank of Australia data analysed by comparison website finder.com.au estimated the nation borrowed $29 billion on credit cards in December 2017.
This is equivalent to $1,727 in purchases per card.
With an estimated 70 per cent of Australians currently holding credit cards, Wagga can expect to rack up millions of dollars in debt and Anglicare's Manager of Child Youth and Family Services in Wagga, Kristy Daley says families are already feeling the pinch.
“We’ve been inundated with requests since the Ashmont Community Centre reopened on Monday and people were even contacting us before this week,” she said.
Roughly 13 requests are made to Anglicare’s Ashmont base every month but Mrs Daley said numbers had skyrocketed since reopening.
“We’re getting almost seven requests a day at the moment,” she said.
Anglicare handed out more than 80 hampers over the Christmas period but financial and food resources are already being stretched.
“We’ve only got a certain amount of money we can spend before we run out.”
Anglicare isn’t the only service provider dealing with an increased workload.
Nick Georgiou of Wagga Family Support Services said new families were seeking assistance after the Christmas break.
“While we are still in the first fortnight of the year, we are already getting calls for support and assistance from people who have never sought financial counselling before,” he said.
“It’s predominantly because families have experienced financial strain over the Christmas period, whether they’ve been spending more on their family or perhaps catering to more than usual.”
Ms Daley also called for further funding to service providers.