Consumer protectionConsumer credit: Additional contracts instead of repayment are problematic

Today, the market watchdog for finances at the consumer association Saxony released its results of a recent online survey on consumer credit. Accordingly, the cost-intensive overdraft facility of the current account and the credit facility of the credit card are the most widely used types of credit in Germany.

For this representative online survey, iff (institut für finanzdienstleistungen e.V., Hamburg) was commissioned at the end of 2017 to survey 1,055 German-speaking Internet users aged above 18 using a standardized questionnaire.

These are the central aspects:

  • Around two-thirds of the respondents have used at least one form of consumer credit over the past five years.

  • With regard to loans for personal use, goods financing, vehicle financing or overdraft facilities, less than five percent of respondents report repayment problems and between 70 and 87 percent would reuse one of these forms of financing.

  • Between 17 and 28 percent of debtors concluded at least one additional contract, such as installment insurance, extended warranty or additional credit cards, as part of their financing. Generally, all consumers previously knew about the conclusion of these additional agreements, but to a different degree. Also, a share considered this additional contract to be necessary for obtaining the credit.

  • All respondents stated that they are “likely or very likely” to compare different offers before raising a credit. Of these, 80 percent said to prefer online comparison portals, followed by the banks' websites with 48 percent and personal advice at the local bank with 43 percent. However, only between one third and a bit more than half of the credit users actually compare at least one type of alternative offer.

Source: Market watchdog for finances

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