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Growing number of over-65s in Finland burdened with past-due bills

Nearly 34,500 over-65-year-olds had long-overdue outstanding bills in 2018, nine percent more than in 2017. 

Kuvassa laskuja ja muutamia euroja.
Image: Anssi Leppänen / Yle

Seniors over the age of 65 accounted for a growing number of payment defaulters in 2018, says credit scoring firm Asiakastieto.

The company said Wednesday that although the overall number of payment defaults declined by five percent last year compared to 2017, the number of individuals missing payments on bills and debt had increased to a record 382,000 and had racked up a total of 1.6 million euros in new payment defaults.

Asiakastieto said that pensioners appear to be playing a growing role in the increase in defaults. Nearly 34,500 over-65-year-olds had long-overdue outstanding bills in 2018, nine percent more than in 2017.

"They are becoming more indebted and had credit before they turned 65. However at that age their earnings level also drops and is no longer enough to service all of their debt. On the other hand the number of payment defaults is increasing across all age groups except among young people," said Asiakastieto business director Jouni Muhonen.

Among young people under the age of 20, however the number with overdue payments fell by nine percent between 2017 and 2018 and in the 20-24-year age group the number with past-due bills also declined.

The credit-check firm attributed this development to stiffer lending practices from consumer credit lenders.

"We know that after 2011 young people were not getting credit at the same pace as before, so no defaults arose. We also harbour a small hope that some sort of information got through," Muhonen added.

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