Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Main Type of Debt Among Thais: Suan Dusit Survey

Credit cards are one of the types of debt Thais have to pay off as their daily lives have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Credit cards and personal loans are adding to the many types of debt Thais face as their daily lives have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll. .

The survey was conducted online from November 22 to 25 among 1,059 people across the country who were in debt as a result of Covid-19.

When asked what types of debt they had to pay, with each respondent allowed to choose more than one answer, 46.52% indicated credit cards and personal loans; 39.85% loans for real estate, including homes, condominiums and commercial buildings; 35.46% daily expenses; 30.79% loans for cars and motorcycles; and 15.73% of expenses for education and student loans.

Asked about the indebtedness of their household, their answers were:

  • 48.18% less than 500,000 baht;
  • 22.85% between 1,000,000 and 2,999,999 baht;
  • 15.26% above 3 million baht;
  • 13.71% between 500,000 and 999,999 baht.

When asked if they thought they could repay the debt, 71.11% said “yes”; 15.20% were uncertain; and 13.69% said “no”.

On their behavior after getting into debt, each respondent allowing themselves to give more than one answer, 60.23% said they had established a more prudent spending plan; 55.04% said they had to do more work to get extra income; 40.25% said they had researched information on debt management and reducing interest; 31.51% said they had turned to gambling; and, 25.36%, they were looking to borrow from those around them.

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

When asked who they would turn to for help in solving the debt problem, 89.23% identified themselves; 46.33% families and close collaborators; 36.70% banks; 22.97% savings cooperatives; and 11.25% from pawn shops.

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