Yesterday I was at the Civil Committee hearing on consumer loans, so we borrow more and more to buy gadgets, food and travel. And it is also encouraged by increasingly aggressive marketing and new neat invoicing services such as KredWizz. The first part of the hearing was broadcast in the SVT Forum. Various authorities and advisors gave a depressing picture of everyone who ended up in the debt trap, of which almost 100,000 are “indebtedness debtors”, ie people who pay and pay for decades without thereby starting to pay off on the very basis – the loan capital.
We have a responsibility as a borrower
But lenders also have a responsibility. In addition, everyone can suffer from divorce, unemployment and other things that radically change the private economy. Examples of completely reprehensible elements are to pay for a Christmas gift of 60 months, ie five years. It means five Christmas when you pay off your debt for an old gadget. Or quick loan advertising that openly attracts with “payment notes no problem”. Credit advertising must be “restrained and moderate,” so why can’t you have similar strict requirements to alcohol advertising? thought the Consumer Agency’s Genos Alarcon.
Is legal consumer protection sufficient? was the basic question of the hearing and everyone – except the banks, fast-lenders and trade – thought the answer was definitely NO. Per Bolund, who is responsible for these issues in the government, also agreed. Over-indebtedness is very high on the government’s priority list, he said, and then came up with a catalog of stricter rules. Several of them were similar parts of our “100 requirements for a stronger consumer policy”.
Seriously consider the alternative interest rate ceiling
I myself have been fighting for this for years and also argued for it in the hearing yesterday. 14 EU countries have it and it is incomprehensible that a dignified society allows effective interest rates of hundreds of percent.
Now it is up to the government to deliver. The intention is that things should go quickly so that the first results will be marked in 2016. It will be no easy match to pilot the stricter through the Riksdag, but on the other hand, after so many years of market failures and tame self-regulation, it is difficult to resist the force to prevent more people from falling into debt trap.