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Report reveals credit difficulties across Europe

More and more Europeans find themselves in a tough financial situation. According to the newly released European Consumer Payment Report, 44 per cent of the respondents say they have failed to pay a bill during the last year.

For the fourth year in a row, Intrum Justitia has released the European Consumer Payment Report. More than 21 300 Europeans from 21 countries answered questions about their financial situation and consumer behavior.

The report shows that the number of Europeans that feel a constant pressure from not having enough money has grown since last year. This leads to stress and anxiety, and many of those with financial problems say they have lower hopes and expectations for their financial future. Some also say, that they need to borrow money to pay their bills. 17 per cent of all Europeans have borrowed money or maxed out their credit card in order to pay bills the last six months.

- Our own data indicates that people who take on debt early in life tend to remain in that situation as they grow older, says Mikael Ericson, CEO of Intrum Justitia.

Having problems with the private finances can decrease young Europeans possibilities to move to their own home. The report shows that many Europeans aged 18-24 live with their parents longer than they want to, and that one in five has on at least one occasion been forced to move back home because of their financial situation. 

More than one third of the respondents say they shop online, and many of them also say they buy more than they had planned for when shopping online. There are a growing number of people that think it is okay to finance their consumer goods and holiday trips with a payment plan, on credit or by borrowed money. 54 per cent of Europeans are worried about the easy access to credit through smart phones.

 - Access to credit is key to the growth of a society. However we need to pursue a sound credit environment where the consequences of signing a contract for a loan or a credit is fully understood by the consumer, even if the signature is only a click on the computer screen, says Mikael Ericson.

More than half of the respondents wish they have learned more about household economy in school. They also think schools have a big responsibility to educate children in this topic.

- At Intrum Justitia we meet this challenge by cooperating with high school teachers in the development of an interactive lesson in household economy. Our objective is to support young students and their teachers in creating an understanding of the risks and opportunities of the modern consumption society, says Mikael Ericson.

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