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Poles are borrowing more and more. “Recent years have ruined our pockets”

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The trend towards taking out loans is still visible in Poland. We take more of them because we earn more and our creditworthiness increases. However, it still happens that the loan interest rate turns out to be exorbitant and the repayment of the installment is at least problematic.

Poles borrow heavily. Data from the Credit Information Bureau show that in March, loan companies granted a total of over a million new loans with a total value of over PLN 1 billion 700 million. – We live on credit, we get used to it, and sometimes there is this credit loop that we have to be careful about so as not to repay the loan with a loan, because it leads to the so-called bankruptcy – comments Dr. Hab. Jarosław Korpysa, economist from the University of Szczecin.

This is the highest result in history. Compared to March 2023, 250 percent more loans were granted for an amount 110 percent higher. – It is always disturbing because we enter with such purchasing power, without having current income to meet our needs. The question is what needs are being met. If these are current needs, it may be a signal that things are not going well in these households, says Dr. Tomasz Bojkowski from the Poznań University of Economics.

– Today it is said that on average we should earn about PLN 5,500 to be able to actually not borrow – adds Korpysa.

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Despite the 12 percent indexation of pensions in March, many people still have to give up some purchases. Financial obligations, exacerbated by inflation, are often so high that daily earnings are not sufficient.

SEE ALSO: A key decision for borrowers in June

– Recent years have ruined our pockets and our savings. Therefore, even though there are price increases at the moment, they have probably not caught up with the situation that occurred in, for example, 2015, this is my private feeling – comments one of the consumers.

“Poles have very low creditworthiness”

According to the Central Statistical Office, the average salary in the enterprise sector in March was over PLN 8,400 gross. This represents an increase of 12 percent year-on-year.

– Our wages are increasing, but it is actually the minimum wages that are increasing, not the average wages. Average wages are growing very little and they are not really catching up with inflation, and considering that almost 2/3 of the population earns below the national average, it is no wonder that if we have some breathing room after inflation and after difficult times, we want to revive – he says Dr. Anna Motylska-Kuźma from the University of Lower Silesia, DSW. According to data from the Credit Information Bureau, more and more Poles save their budgets with non-bank loans. – Poles have very low creditworthiness. Therefore, it is easier to get a loan on the non-bank market, without being aware of these costs – and attention – sometimes they really exceed well over 100 percent per year, so these are huge costs – points out Motylska-Kuźma.

Minister Krzysztof Hetman about the “Mieszkanie na start” programtvn24

According to the report, in the first quarter the total value of liabilities granted by loan companies amounted to nearly PLN five billion. This is an increase of 111 percent compared to 2023. The value of cash loans amounted to over PLN three billion, an increase of 70 percent. The value of targeted loans is nearly PLN 1.5 billion and an increase of 370 percent. The value of cards and limits amounted to PLN 200 million.

In May and June, prices will realistically increase

– Most often, the purpose (of loans – editor's note) is for consumption, i.e. de facto for life – points out Jarosław Korpysa. The average value of a cash loan was over PLN 2,500, an increase of 12 percent year-on-year.

Economists predict that the coming months will unfortunately not be kind to our wallets. – We can expect even greater growth in the coming months. Considering that VAT on food has been abolished since April 1. In May and June, these prices will actually increase in real terms, which means that Poles will perhaps take out even more of these targeted loans – predicts Korpysa.

Author:Stefania Kulik

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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