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Consumer credit applicants have a high risk of over-indebtedness

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Did you know that positive credit register data is already available?

With the help of Asiakastieto’s positive credit information service, more than 23 million consumer credit decisions have already been made. In the Finnish market, a person applying for a new loan typically has open consumer loans in the amount of approximately 12 000 euros.

The positive credit information register maintained by the authorities will not be available in Finland until 2024, but almost the same information content is already available. Asiakastieto’s positive credit information service helps banks and finance companies to prevent the over-indebtedness of consumers and thus supports responsible lending.

– The service contains positive credit information on about 1,5 million Finns. It includes the number of valid consumer loans, the euro amount, the instalments and information on whether the customer has repaid the loans correctly on time. Information on housing loans will be available starting next fall, says Asiakastieto’s Service Development Director Johanna Kurikka.

About 40 banks and finance companies are present in Asiakastieto’s positive credit information service. The more actors are involved, the more customer information can also be found in the service.

The service works so that financiers disclose information on their customers’ consumer credits for common use and, respectively, they get information on the possible other loans of the credit applicant elsewhere.

The use of positive credit information always requires the consent of the credit applicant.

– By giving their consent, the consumer can demonstrate how they have managed their previous loans. The credit grantor again makes sure that the applied new credit does not exceed the customer’s repayment ability, Kurikka says.

Asiakastieto’s role is to provide the information and maintain the service. Corresponding information is not available anywhere else.

– Perhaps the most important proof of effectiveness is that over 23 million consumer credit decisions have been made on the basis of positive credit information obtained from Asiakastieto’s service, Kurikka states.

Approximately 350 000 – 400 000 credit decisions based on Asiakastieto’s positive credit information are made each month.

Concerns about indebtedness are growing

The indebtedness of consumers has become a major concern in recent years, as almost 400 000 Finns have a payment default entry.

Asiakastieto’s positive credit information database shows that people actively applying for consumer credit are a high-risk target group. There are a lot of applicants who do not yet have a payment default entry, but they have had long delays in loans taken out earlier. In 75 per cent of applications, the consumer applying for a new loan already has open consumer loans, typically (median) in the amount of about 12 000 euros. The monthly instalment to be paid is 300 euros, on average. Consumer credit includes, for example, credit cards and various unsecured consumer loans offered by finance companies.

– The credit decision must be based on the applicant’s payment ability, i.e. the relation of income and expenses. For some, a monthly payment of 300 - 500 euros is far too big, for another it again is just right, Johanna Kurikka points out.

Asiakastieto’s positive credit information service has been in use since 2013.

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