Dutch consumers remain cautious when it comes to borrowing money

  • Less credit granted
  • More overdrafts and credit-card loans
  • Total outstanding consumer debt as good as stable

For the second year in a row, less consumer credit was granted in the Netherlands than in the previous year. Last year, 9.3 billion euro was granted in consumer credit, a decrease by 366 million euro relative to 2009.

Although the total amount borrowed per capita did not change, fewer people have taken out loans. Revolving credit accounted the rest of the decrease. 

Finance companies granted more loans last year than in 2009. This is mainly due to a recovery in car sales in 2010.

More people had overdrawn their bank accounts in 2010. By the end of last year, Dutch consumers were 10 billion euro in the red on their current accounts versus 9.7 billion euro by the end of 2009. The amount granted in the form of credit-card credit was also marginally higher than in 2009. There is a shift from revolving credit to overdrafts and credit-card credit. Dutch consumers tend to opt for more flexible, but also more expensive forms of credit.

On balance, the total consumer debt (credit granted plus overdrafts on current accounts) in 2010 was a bit lower than in 2009 and amounted to 27.4 billion euro versus 27.6 billion euro in the preceding year.