Citizens owe an average of 1,650 euros

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Currently, 145,290 housing loans are being repaid, and the average amount of a housing loan is 3.7 million dinars

The advantages of low interest rates can be seen mostly in the growth of indebtedness of citizens. They now owe banks an average of 1,650 euros. According to the user of the bank account, allegedly around two thousand euros. Truth be told, not only low interest rates can be credited for that, but it is also about raising standards, that is, higher salaries. According to the Association of Serbian Banks (UBS), citizens are currently repaying as many as 145,290 housing loans. The average amount of a housing loan is 3.7 million dinars, which is about 31,000 euros. The delay in their repayment is 0.9 percent. In two years, the credit growth of housing loans is 16.8 percent.

The fact that the average amount of a housing loan is 31,000 euros indicates that the citizens were careful and did not borrow large sums for the roof over their heads. Caution is understandable, because it is an obligation for 20 and often 30 years. The credit boom was not only recorded in housing loans, but also in cash loans. In one year, the citizens took them in the value of as much as 500 million euros.

Only two years ago, the citizens were on average about a thousand euros in debt. If it is a consolation, our citizens are among the least indebted in the region, and here we compare ourselves with the countries of the former great state. Data from the central banks there show that the most indebted on credit are Slovenians who owe about 5,500 euros, followed by Croats with more than 4,400 euros, and Montenegrins with about 2,400.

The higher the salary, the higher the debts, because the citizens of those countries where the average salaries are low are at the bottom of the debt. Thus, in BiH they owe about 1,600 euros, and the Macedonians 1,500.

Ljubodrag Savić, professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, says that the data on the average indebtedness of all citizens with banks is not relevant, it does not show the real situation, but that it is much more important how much only those citizens who take loans, credit cards and allowed minuses owe. And that data is completely different and many times bigger.

“The fact that people take more loans can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, our standard should grow so that people estimate that now is the right time to solve the housing issue. We should not ignore the fact that the price of apartments is never higher. On the other hand, a number of loans were taken just to repay large debts, and these are refinancing loans. We cannot conclude that Serbia is doing better now, a large number of loans are taken from extortion. By the logic of things, when a person takes a loan, it means that he does not have enough funds and borrows at the expense of the future. “We live in uncertain times, which we see in the international situation because of Ukraine, in a market economy where there is no job security,” Savic said.

Zoran Grubišić, a professor at the Belgrade Banking Academy, says that this much borrowing of the population is not dangerous.

“The trend is expected and appropriate for economic growth in recent years. Measured and according to the indebtedness of our neighbors, we cannot say that our citizens have reached for more loans than them, and those are Croatia, BiH. Loans support consumption and economic growth itself. Until a few years ago, cash loans, larger than housing loans, had the largest share in the total mass of loans to citizens. Now the situation is changing and the share of housing is increasing, which is good, because these are safer loans, less risky for the financial sector. As a rule, the delay in repayment is much less with them “, notes Grubišić.

The National Bank realized a few years ago that the growth of household indebtedness can be dangerous, and it reacted by shortening the deadline for repaying cash loans. They can now be repaid only for six years, provided that the total credit burden cannot exceed 60 percent of earnings, and in the case of lower incomes, 40 percent, Politika writes.