ANALYSIS: How indebted consumers are stretching SA to its limits
Credit extension is growing faster than job creation, and the moribund economy cannot carry that burden forever
A 2014-15 World Bank report declared that South Africans were the world’s "biggest borrowers". Consumer credit-use statistics — a comparison of employment and credit consumer numbers — suggest that South Africans are failing to manage their debt responsibly and that some credit providers might be missing the mark regarding their criteria in affordability assessments. Despite tougher affordability requirements and large-scale efforts to educate consumers, credit use is outpacing employment growth, and the over-indebted gap is widening. There were 16.9-million credit-active consumers in 2007, the national credit regulator’s Credit Bureau Report reads. At the time, 6.38-million (or 37.7%) had an impaired credit record. In 2013, there were 20.21-million credit-active consumers, of whom 9.69-million (47.9%) had impaired records. A record is declared impaired if a debtor is three or more months in arrears on an account, if the debtor is under administration or if there are judgments again...
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