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Consumers' outstanding unsecured debt continues to rise in H1 2015

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Consumers' outstanding unsecured debt in Singapore continued to rise in the first of half of 2015, according to statistics from Credit Bureau Singapore.

CONSUMERS' outstanding unsecured debt in Singapore continued to rise in the first of half of 2015, according to statistics from Credit Bureau Singapore.

In June, the number of consumers who missed two or more months of their unsecured debt payments rose 10 per cent to 85,352 compared to the year-ago period, the consumer credit bureau said in a report on Monday. Meanwhile, there was a 32 per cent increase from the corresponding number of debtors in 2011.

These debtors, who hold unsecured debt either in the form of a credit card, overdraft facility or personal loan, account for 5 per cent of the total population of unsecured credit customers.

Their overdue balances were also higher, rising 7 per cent year on year to around S$288.45 million.

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Over the last four years, unsecured debt exposure has also grown, with average balance per consumer for unsecured credit cards and overdrafts up 16 per cent to S$7,971 from 2011 to 2015. At the same time, debt exposure appears to be stabilising in June, the report said, where average balance per consumer for unsecured credit cards and overdrafts dipped to S$7,971 from S$8,018 the year before.

Average principal sum for unsecured personal loans rose 5 per cent to S$13,584.

William Lim, executive director of Credit Bureau Singapore, said: "While consumers' outstanding debt remains high, we note that average debt exposure for credit cards and overdrafts is stabilising. This may indicate that the measures put in place by both the regulator and banks to help borrowers pay down their debt are beginning to have an effect on the market. CBS will continue to monitor this trend."

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