According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands, Dutch consumers borrowed 10.4 billion euro in 2007, the same amount as in 2006. Again, they repaid more than they borrowed, so that total outstanding consumer loans fell further. As current account overdrafts increased further, the total consumer debt of households did rise slightly, however.
Repayments exceed loans
The amount in new loans has been fluctuating around 10.4 billion euro since the beginning of this century. Repayments have shown an upward trend in recent years. In 2007 Dutch households repaid 12.4 billion euro. This is more than the total amount they borrowed including interest, so that the net consumer debt fell slightly in 2007.
Less revolving credit
The decrease in the outstanding debt in 2007 is completely accounted for by revolving credit. The amount of outstanding credit fell by 0.5 billion euro. The outstanding debt on fixed amount loans and credit cards hardly changed.
Dutch households did have higher overdrafts on their current accounts in 2007. The amount in overdrafts was 8 percent higher on 31 December than twelve months previously. Many Dutch consumers use the credit facility of their current accounts.
In addition, some banks grant mortgage loans via current accounts. Households can then borrow against the value of their home to finance consumer spending. The interest rates are lower than for other forms of credit via current accounts, as the loans are secured against a home.
Consumer debt slightly up
The total consumer debt is the total outstanding amount in consumer credit and overdrafts. This was 1 percent t higher on 31 December 2007 than twelve months previously.