In most countries, consumers regularly borrow money, as well as in the Netherlands. However, the Dutch have slightly different borrowing habits. Compared to people in other countries, many Dutch people have a relatively large mortgage debt, while they barely have any credit card debt. And the Dutch are also less likely to have a personal loan than people in other countries. Read more about the Dutch and their borrowing habits.
What do the Dutch borrow money for?
The biggest loan the Dutch take out in their life is often the one they take out to buy a home, i.e. their mortgage. And they tend to borrow more on a mortgage than people in other countries. Besides borrowing money to buy a home, the Dutch mainly borrow to buy a car or improve their home. And finally, the Dutch take out loans to unify or refinance other loans.
Who borrows money in the Netherlands?
Leaving mortgages aside, people in the 31-40 age bracket are the ones who borrow the most. This is an expensive life stage during which people make big purchases, such as a car, and investments, such as in a home improvement project.
Compared to people in other countries, the Dutch are less likely to have a borrow money. 34% of Dutch households do so. In general, you could say that the Dutch prefer to only spend money they actually have. The average consumer credit in the Netherlands hovers between €10,000 and €15,000. The most popular term is 9-10 years.
The Dutch have low credit card debt
What stands out is that the Dutch have almost no credit card debt. This is quite different in most other countries. Daily groceries and other purchases are mainly paid by debit card or in cash. That said, 1.1 million households in the Netherlands, i.e. 16% of all households, go overdrawn on their current account every month or are always overdrawn. Online purchases are also generally paid by debit card, using payment options such as iDEAL. Credit cards are often used only to book hotels or holidays.
Want to borrow money in the Netherlands?
If you are an expat and living in the Netherlands on a temporary basis, you, too, can take out a personal loan. The maximum term for your loan is the time you are scheduled to live and work in the Netherlands. If you are married or living together with a partner, you will be required to apply for the loan jointly. The upside to that is that if your partner also has a job, the interest rate for your loan will sometimes be lower. Loan applications will first be reviewed by the Dutch Credit Registration Office, which monitors all loans taken out in the Netherlands to ensure people do not borrow beyond their means. If you plan to buy a home in the Netherlands in the future, your mortgage application will also first be assessed by the Dutch Credit Registration Office. Any loans you already have at that point will be a factor in determining the maximum amount you can borrow on a mortgage.
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