Financial attitudes of Europeans - what we take out credits and loans for?
We are one of the countries with the highest level of credits and loans taken out by their inhabitants. In Romania, for instance, is this level is only slightly higher. Germans, however, are less burdened with credits and loans. These are the data from the “Financial attitudes of Europeans” report prepared by Millward Brown for the KRUK Group. What distinguishes us from Romanians is a significantly lower percentage of people who are planning to take out a loan or credit in the following year.
Life on credit
In the last three years, as much as 48 per cent of Poles have taken out a loan or credit. We are followed only by Romanians, who made such financial commitments in 56 per cent of the cases. The inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries took credits and loans much less frequently - 24 per cent of Spaniards and Italians. In Germany, it was only 20 per cent.
– Our indebtedness may result among others from the affluence of the entire society. For instance, the difference in the levels of wages in Poland and Romania and Western Europe: Germany, Spain or Italy should be taken into account – explains Agnieszka Salach from the KRUK Group. – Therefore, as opposed to Germans, very few of us can afford to save money on a regular basis. That is why many of us go into debt to live at a similar standard as the inhabitants of Western Europe.
As shown in the research carried out by Millward Brown for the KRUK Group, we are more cautious about living on credit. Only 18 per cent of us want to make this type of financial commitment in the following year. Meanwhile, in Romania as many as one-third of the inhabitant’s plan to do so. Italians are also ahead of us in terms of planning to take out credits and loans – 22 per cent declare that in the next year they will use such financial products. Germans are at the bottom of the list – only 10 per cent will consider taking out credit in the next twelve months.
What do we finance?
Our credit plans are usually associated with residential purposes (purchase, buyout or renovation of a flat – 56 per cent in total) and buying a car (23 per cent of the respondents). Many Poles take out credits to purchase household appliances – as many as one-fourth of the Poles participating in the survey gave such an answer. In this case the declarations of Poles (as well as Romanians) significantly exceed the European average.
Cars are most frequently purchased on credit by Italians (46 per cent), Spaniards (43 per cent) and Germans (37 per cent). Whereas Slovak's plan to take out the most credits for residential purposes (purchase/buyout and renovation in total – 67 per cent of respondents). Interestingly, as much as 46 per cent of Germans, 44 per cent of Spaniards and 41 per cent of Italians would allocate a loan for “other purpose”.
*A survey carried out in October 2016 with the use of the CAWI methodology by Millward Brown for the KRUK Group on a representative sample of 7000 adult citizens of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Germany, Italy and Spain (1000 persons/country).