Holidays and inflation boost consumer loans
Households have drawn on savings and consumer loans to go on holiday and offset inflation, while banks have made short-term loans as expensive as credit cards.
Households’ financial situation has improved, with a gradual recovery of the purchasing power progressive recovery of lost purchasing power since 2021. Even so, more and more families are taking out quick loans to go on holiday or to finance fixed monthly expenses. The increase in consumption and the rise in prices due to inflation are eroding the savings accumulated by households during the pandemic.
The Bank of Spain’s (BdE) report on data from the end of July shows that financing through consumer loans has increased significantly between June and July. Specifically, it has increased by 2,000 million euros, reaching an all-time high not seen since 2009.
In this context, the banking sector expects that the end of the summer will lead many families to request more financing, among other things, due to the return to school, colleges and universities, further boosting the consumer loan business. And all this despite the fact that this type of financing has become significantly more expensive in recent months.
Banks continue to make consumer loans more expensive
The contractionary monetary policy applied in recent months by banks aims to reduce inflationary pressures in the economy. This translates into higher mortgages and credit to companies, but also affects credit to households, which are affected by the rise in interest rates on consumer loans.
Despite the sharp fall in mortgage lending – between January and June 2023, 14% fewer home loans were signed than in the same period last year – banks have granted loans worth 15,289 million euros in the first half of the year, making consumer loans the golden goose of the credit business.
The Association of Financial Users, Asufin, warned that consumer loans are not slowing down and are becoming more expensive in Spain with an average increase in interest rates that exceeded 13% in July. This type of financing has become much more expensive in recent months, reaching an average interest rate on short-term loans of 17.42% in August. However, the popularity of consumer loans is following a similar trend to that of the past, also due to high inflation.
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