Swedish students in billion kronor debt

Over 90,000 people who studied in Sweden are now in debt to the Swedish Enforcement Authority (Kronofogdemyndigheten), owing over 1 billion kronor ($150 million)in total, yet experts maintain that student loans remain a helpful alternative.

Swedish students in billion kronor debt

Ylva Yngveson, of Swedish bank Swedbank, believes that student loans are a good way to finance studying, but stressed that students must keep a close eye on their economy.

“The most expensive item is usually the home. Therefore it is important that you have a good social network,” she explained to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN).

In a survey from Swedish loans body CSN last year, some two-thirds of students answered that they didn’t believe their student allowance was sufficient to live off.

Last year alone, almost 350,000 people, 28 percent of all the people in student debt, were forced to pay a reminder fee for a late payment.

On top of this, 93,500 people still owed money to the Swedish Enforcement Authority by the end of the year, according to DN.

Yngveson explains that keeping a budget, sharing a house with other students, and bringing your own lunch to school can be good methods of saving money, while also avoiding unnecessary expenses such as new clothes, shoes and haircuts – if possible.

“It’s a good thing to keep an eye on the economy – especially when you leave home for the first time and manage your own finances. Picking up such habits early helps in the future,” she told the paper.

The Local/og

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Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.