New Zealand has a higher proportion of households with debt over 70% than any other country in the OECD. The next highest is the US, marginally above 50%. The ability of low-income earners in New Zealand to service debt is the lowest in the OECD. At the end of March, New Zealand households had a combined $12.669 billion of consumer debt, around $3000 for every person in the country, most of it incurring interest charges ranging from 15% to 35% as well as annual account fees.

Source: NZ Listener 22/3/08 & Sunday Star-Times 11/5/08

Guardian Political Review - Issue 55, 2008