More Koreans Take out Multiple Loans

  • By Choi Hyung-seok

    September 27, 2019 08:39

    The number of people with loans from three or more financial institutions has risen by more than 20 percent in the last five years and now stands at 4.23 million.

    Together they owe over W500 trillion, or W120 million per person on average (US$1=W1,200).

    Data from credit information provider NICE Information Service published Wednesday shows that as of the end of June, 4.23 million people had loans from three or more financial institutions, up 20.4 percent from the end of 2014.

    Some 19.39 million Koreans are in debt, which means one in five falls into this category.

    Multi-bank debtors owed W508.92 trillion between them as of the end of June, up a whopping 48 percent from the end of 2014, which translated into an average debt per head of W120.38 million, up from W98.05 million over the same period.

    A significant percentage of multi-bank borrowers are young or elderly and often have low and irregular incomes. NICE said 300,868 were under 30 and 409,433 over 60 as of the end of September last year, making up 17 percent of the total.

    Experts say multiple debt is a serious risk for self-employed people, who tend to rob Peter to pay Paul.

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