Commissioned by the Credit Registration Bureau (BKR), Tilburg University carried out an investigation into the debts of the Dutch. This study shows that part of the Dutch households suffer from loans they have taken out in the past. Especially for people who are now unemployed, or have jobs with which they earn less than when they closed the loan, the loans prove to be a problem.
Nevertheless, by far the majority of people (85%) still support the loans they have taken out at the time. Some think afterwards that the loan was too risky, but they did not get into trouble. Six per cent of those questioned regretted, especially because they were in financial trouble, or they fear that this will still happen.
Less loans have been taken out in the last few years than in previous years. Only thirteen percent of the respondents have taken out a new loan in the past two years. In any case, there are more Dutch people who have to use their savings to make ends meet and a few percent of the Dutch can only get by with new loans.
Municipalities must take responsibility
The researchers therefore believe that municipalities must take responsibility for this: “Debt assistance is a primary responsibility of the municipalities, but there are signs that many problem cases do not receive the attention they deserve.” Of course this costs the municipalities and / or the central government money, but doing nothing also costs money. ‘The longer people stay in an unsustainable debt position, the greater the social damage in terms of lost productivity, health insurance and benefits.’