Credit cards, personal loans lead debt types among Thais: poll

Credit cards, personal loans lead debt types among Thais: poll

Credit cards are one of the leading types of debt for Thai people, and debt levels have increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Credit cards are one of the leading types of debt for Thai people, and debt levels have increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Credit cards and personal loans top the many types of debt burdening Thai people since their daily life became affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted online between Nov 22-25 on 1,059 people throughout the country who have been in debt during the Covid-19 situation.

Asked about the types of debt they had incurred, with each respondent allowed to choose more than one answer, 46.52% pointed to credit cards and personal loans; 39.85% loans for property including houses, condominiums and commercial buildings; 35.46% daily expenses; 30.79% loans for cars and motorcycles; and 15.73% expenses for education and student loans.
varied as follows::

  • 48.18% owed less than 500,000 baht;
  • 22.85% owed 1,000,000-2,999,999 baht;
  • 15.26% owed more than 3 million baht;
  • 13.71% owed 500,000-999,999 baht.

Asked whether they thought they would be able to pay off the debt, 71.11% said "yes"; 15.20% were uncertain; and 13.69% said "no".

Asked how their behaviour had changed after going into debt -- with each respondent allow to give more than one answer -- 60.23% said they were following a more careful spending plan; 55.04% said they were doing extra work to get supplementary income; 40.25% said they had sought information on debt management and interest reduction; 31.51% said they turned to gambling; and 25.36% said they sought to borrow from people around them.

Asked how they would solve their debt problems, 80.88% said they would be more disciplined and thrifty, and adjust their spending habits; 61.85% said the government should carry out debt restructuring to lower interest payments on loans; 52.81% said the minimum wage and employment opportunities should be increased; 31.30% said people should be educated about debt management; and 23.31% said financial institutions should help debtors learn about financial planning.

Asked who they would turn to for help to solve their debt problems, 89.23% said they would help themselves; 46.33% cited families and close associates; 36.70% banks; 22.97% savings cooperatives; and 11.25% pawn shops.

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