Unpaid SMS loans in Sweden shrink: agency

The number of unpaid SMS loans that end up with the Swedish Enforcement Administration (Kronofogden) has shrunk dramatically, according to the government agency.

Unpaid SMS loans in Sweden shrink: agency

Last year, 28,038 cases ended up at the agency, which handles all debt collection in Sweden, compared with 46,531 in 2009, a decrease of 40 percent. The share of loans possessed by young people in Sweden also continued to decline last year, the agency added.

Janne Åkerlund, a communications officer at the agency, called it a fantastic development.

“There is a drastic reduction for all ages and genders and is a fantastic result. We are down to 2007’s levels. In the case of young people, the message has gotten through for sure. They obviously understand that it is damn expensive to buy for something for 3,000 kronor ($457) and pay 3,600 kronor,” said Åkerlund.

In addition to a massive information drive, which the agency took part in, a certain degree of self-regulation took place in the industry ahead of the new consumer credit law that came into force on January 1st this year, Åkerlund believes.

At the same time, the proportion belonging to women has increased and stands at 50 percent for the first time. The increase applies to all age groups, but in the oldest age groups, the proportion of loans to women now exceed those to men.

“In the case of women, we have seen an increasing trend of indebtedness in general,” he said.

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