Kiwis are far too comfortable with continual credit card debt, with one in three failing to pay off their balance in full each month, according to new research.

The study from credit scoring company shows that more than one in 10 Kiwis (11 per cent) said that they were comfortable with credit card debt of up to $10,000. spokeswoman Hazel Phillips said it's concerning to see the level of credit card debt New Zealanders are stacking up, particularly when credit cards tend to have high interest rates.

"It's a worry that people are becoming so comfortable with credit card debt, as any outstanding payments not only attract interest and sometimes also penalties, but they can affect your credit score and therefore future credit applications," Phillips said.

"Gone are the days when cash limited our disposable income spending."


"Flashing the credit card has made it all too easy to keep swiping away. All the little daily purchases add up and can easily push people's monthly spending over the edge."

Data collected over a five-year span showed that men are more likely than women to have a credit card default on file - accounting for 56 per cent of credit card defaults.

There was also a generational standout in the data. Figures revealed that Gen Y (people aged between 21 and 37) are most likely to have a credit card default, accounting for 50 per cent of all credit card defaulters, while the more financially settled Baby Boomers (aged between 53 and 71) account for 16 per cent of defaults.

Across the regions, the West Coast had the worst attitude to paying off credit card balances with 83 per cent of respondents comfortable with continual debt. People in Northland are most likely to pay off their credit card each month (67 per cent clear the balance).

Phillips said Kiwis should try to pay their credit card off on time and in full every month.

"Put your life on automatic and you'll save yourself a lot of stress. Setting up a direct debit can help ensure you don't miss repayments and get stung with nasty fees and interest."

Credit scores are a key indicator of credit health, and a poor score can seriously affect a person's ability to get credit when they urgently need it.

The research was conducted by Perceptive Research in July 2017, surveying a minimum of 1,000 New Zealanders online using a nationwide sampling framework.