More Belgians purchase on the never-never

18th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

One in two Belgians has a credit card, a mortgage or personal loan or is paying off a purchase in instalments

National Bank figures show more and more people buying on credit.

Today one in two Belgians has a credit card, a mortgage or personal loan or is paying off a purchase in instalments.

The number of Belgians who are buying now to pay later has never been so high: 4.7 million.

The figure is up 5% on a year ago, but compared with other Europeans Belgians are particularly cautious when it comes to buying on credit.

Half of all Belgians who use this form of payment are holders of a credit card or store card.

Many Belgians also have a mortgage, though higher interest rates made mortgages less popular last year.

There has been a big increase in the number of people taking out a small personal loan or buying appliances like a TV and paying in instalments.

Despite the increase in the number of people using credit, the figures don't show more people getting into financial difficulty.

340,000 people - the same number as the previous year - are behind with their payments.

The number of people with a real credit problem has even fallen.

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