Far fewer borrowers in heavy debt

The Monetary Authority of Singapore building.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore building. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The number of borrowers in heavy debt has plunged from two years ago. In March, there were 14,000 borrowers who had unsecured debt of more than 24 times their monthly income. They owed $2.2 billion.

This is down from the 32,000 borrowers in February 2015 who had a similar threshold of debt, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). These borrowers owed $4 billion then.

Unsecured debt includes debt on credit cards, overdraft facilities and personal loans, for which there is no collateral. Such debt usually attracts higher interest, and adds to debt woes fast.

MAS has been working with banks to make sure that such debt does not become unsustainable. Schemes including debt consolidation have been introduced to help borrowers, and the resulting drop in those with heavy debt shows that the programmes are working.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Far fewer borrowers in heavy debt'. Subscribe