Age matters for Nordic consumers’ credit default patterns

A new report from Intrum shows that the number of debt collection cases among seniors over 60 years old have increased with 25 per cent over the last two years. At the same time, cases registered on persons under 30 years are increasing at a slower rate.

The new report, Nordic Debt Collection Analysis, is based on Intrum’s data from millions of B2C debt collection cases from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The results show a moderate growth in debt collection cases during 2018, with more homogenous credit behaviour patterns between different age groups being the clearest trend.

- Over the past years, age seems to contain less information about credit behaviour. We see the largest increase of debt collection cases in the Nordic region among persons over 60 years. Underlying long-term demographic trends and new consumption patterns can be two explaining factors, said Anette Willumsen, Managing Director at Intrum, Northern European region.

In the last two years, the number of debt collection cases among seniors have increased by over 25 per cent, although starting from an initially low level. In comparison, the number of cases in the group aged under 30 and 30-60 years old have increased at a more moderate rate, with 13 and 11 per cent respectively.

Over the last 18 months, the average amount among young have fallen, with Finland as the only exception.

- Starting from high levels during recent years, it is positive to see that the increase in the number of cases among younger persons in the Nordics is on the decline. It is also worth noting that the falling average amount for the same group is a stark contrast to other age groups. This supports the argument that fewer of the young population are being granted access to credit markets, Willumsen added.

Credit restrictions for younger consumers in the Nordic market could partly be explained by a relatively weak youth labour market development, lasting for over a decade in all surveyed Nordic countries except for Sweden.

About Nordic Debt Collection Analysis

Nordic Debt Collection Analysis is based on millions of anonymised collection cases from Intrum's own databases. Data from Sweden, Denmark and Finland include the report data from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018. Data for Norway has been collected during the period January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2018. The data only includes consumer credit and data for purchased claims have been excluded.  All debt collection cases were reported during the quarter in which the case was registered with Intrum.