The reasons for debt, and also the reasons for not paying overdue financial liabilities are very different. The key issue is not the thickness of the wallet, though, but psychological features, values and convictions related to repaying debt, as well as the ability to manage home budget. "Portrait of indebted Poles", commissioned by KRUK Group identifies 5 types of indebted persons. These are: Forgetful, Indebted for Others, Careless, Lost and Avoiders.
The highly diverse attitudes and behaviors regarding debt and payment delay situations prove that there is no one universal model of an indebted person. At least 5 different groups were identified.
The largest of them are the Forgetful (27%), who simply tend to forget about their liabilities. Almost all of the persons surveyed (93%) have already paid their debt, and currently meet their financial obligations in a timely manner.
One in four persons belongs to the group with the highest liabilities - the Indebted for Others. Average total amount of credits and loans taken is twice the total group's average, and amounts for 35 876 zloty. They most frequently take loans when the goal is related to the home or family, e.g. educating children or medicating the closest ones.
Almost every fifth indebted person may be defined as wasteful, who likes to spend money for the own needs, as well as for the others. These belong to the Careless group. The persons from this group, despite relatively high income, rarely save money. They do happen to spend spontaneously, and to "go wild" at the store, though. They often justify their payment delays with their bad financial situation, but it appears that the actual reason is that they simply buy more than they can afford.
The segment with the worst material situation are the Lost. This group is the oldest, with the lowest average level of education. They spend money carefully and economically. They live from day to day; spending all they can on the current needs, they are never able to save any money.
The smallest group are the Avoiders, who constitute only 12% of the indebted. In contrast to the Lost, this group is the youngest; the people from it enjoy spontaneity, and spend money willingly, rarely thinking of the future or the consequences of their actions. Persons from this group usually have delays in paying mortgage or current bills. They often justify their problems with bad financial situation, a random event, or a conviction that the debt is unfair.
This segmentation survey clearly shows that there are at least several reasons for the Poles' debts. Contrary to what the most of us think, the problem is not only the finances at hand, or the amount of debt. What matters much more here is the psychological features and the values, convictions, or even moral principles that stand behind different behaviors of people in the face of debt - comments prof. Dominika Maison from the Maison Survey House and the Warsaw University.
Approach to debt
The Forgetful, as well as the Indebted for Others are convinced that the debt must be paid regardless of the circumstances. What motivates them to repay the debt the most is their sense of responsibility and morality. The Careless believe, on the other hand, that the fact that they ignore the financial liabilities may be well justified. Even more reckless towards the debt are the Avoiders. They are the ones that most frequently look for excuses and justifications. The Lost, on the other hand, are strongly convinced that the debt most of all results from the bad situation of the national economy, e.g. high unemployment, low earnings and the other people’s injustice. Persons from this group also believe that the problems with timely payment of financial liabilities are common among society; they do not acknowledge their fault in it.
Satisfaction with life
Mean satisfaction with life among the indebted persons is around 61/100, i.e. 10 points less compared to the total population of adult Poles. It should be noted, however, that distinct differences may be found among the groups identified in the survey. Higher satisfaction with life is seen among the Forgetful (71) and Careless (68), as compared to the Lost, for example (41). The indebted persons generally agree on one thing: that they deserve a better life than they have today. At the same time, the "Portrait of Indebted Poles" shows large differences in life attitudes. The Forgetful tend to "take matters in their own hands", whereas the Lost do not, or cannot take responsibility for their life failures, and prefer to "blame" other people for them. What is also worth noting is the difference in attitudes towards the issue of control. The Forgetful and the Indebted for others appreciate control and reasonability more. They tend to act responsibly and thoughtfully, whereas the Careless and Avoiders like surprises, spontaneous decisions and living the moment.
The "Portrait of Indebted Poles" prepared by us confirms that there is no one type of indebted persons, and that everyone should be approached individually. Therefore, direct contact with the indebted person is so important at KRUK Group. It allows us to identify the reasons for the debt, offer help, and then develop an amicable resolution that will satisfy both parties - concludes Karolina Duniec from KRUK Group. At the same time, we notice the necessity of educating Poles in the sphere of managing their budget and developing systematic saving abilities. This is one of the reasons for which we are holding the Day without Debt for the seventh time already, which aims at raising the awareness of Poles in the area of finances management, making debts responsibly and quitting debt successfully - adds Duniec.
"The Portrait of Indebted Poles" is a report from the segmentation survey carried out in August and September 2015 by Maison Survey House for KRUK S.A. The survey consisted of online surveys performed via online web surveying panels, as well as direct interviews with the respondents. The sample included 604 persons selected quota-randomly. The quotas were defined according to gender, age and education, basing on KRUK S.A.'s data. The persons surveyed were over 20 years old, and within the last 5 years have had at least one contact with a debt management company or a corporate or institutional collections department.