The economist gave advice to those entangled in loans
The total debt of Russians on loans has reached a fantastic amount of 19.9 trillion rubles. This is comparable to the expenditures of the country’s budget. Huge debts are connected with the rush demand for preferential mortgages and microloans. According to economists, the situation is fraught with an increase in the share of “bad debts”, when the borrower cannot make payments for several months. The best option for such citizens is to refinance a loan, but not a bankruptcy procedure.
Nearly 20 trillion rubles of debt is, to put it mildly, a serious figure. For comparison: the volume of all federal budget expenditures for 2021 is 20.6 trillion rubles. Last year it was $ 19.5 trillion. In general, if all citizens paid off all their debts at once, the country could live on this money for a whole year.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, the population’s debt to banks and MFOs increased by 13.4%, and the average size of mortgage loans issued in December reached 2.81 million rubles. The most heavily credited regions include Tuva, Kalmykia, Chuvashia, Leningrad and Tyumen regions. This is stated in the study of participants in the ONF project “For the Rights of Borrowers”, compiled on the basis of information from the Central Bank, Rosstat and the largest credit history bureaus.
What is the way out of the debt trap for millions of people? By law, this is personal bankruptcy. According to Fedresurs, the number of Russians wishing to gain bankruptcy status has been growing for several years in a row. From January to April, 40.6 thousand people were recognized as financially insolvent, which is 80% more than in the spring of last year. Moreover, the bulk of these people carried out the procedure in the old proven way – through the courts, although in September the authorities introduced a simplified mechanism: citizens with arrears of up to 500 thousand rubles can apply simply through the MFC and not go through arbitration.
However, these 40 thousand bankrupts are a drop in the ocean. We have about 1.5 million borrowers with potential signs of bankruptcy. But there is nothing good about the total debt burden (19.9 million rubles), says Mikhail Belyaev, PhD in Economics. According to him, on the eve of the coronavirus crisis, there was a boom in consumer lending in Russia: turning to the services of banks and MFOs, people not only solved some of their life and financial problems, but also used part of the loans to pay off previously formed debt. And when the coronavirus came, many lost their jobs, income and, accordingly, the ability to pay off loans. At the same time, banks, pursuing their own benefit, very often closed overdue loans to desperate customers, but in return offered to take new ones, at higher interest rates.
It is difficult to call this restructuring, in reality its meaning is different: when you have a loan for a certain period and at a certain percentage, the bank can lower your rate and lengthen the repayment time. The problem is that due to the limited resources of its own, the bank is not able to endlessly reduce the rate, explains Belyaev. As for saving, as it may seem, bankruptcy, one should not forget that a full-fledged procedure provides for expenses in the amount of 100-150 thousand rubles – for state duties, for paying for the services of a manager. Ordinary debtors don’t have that kind of money.
In addition, it is necessary to make up the bankruptcy estate, that is, a person loses the lion’s share of his property, except for the only housing, medicines, food and equipment that is associated with his earnings (for example, a car).
The growth in debt on loans is due to the fact that, with a shortage of funds, citizens began to more often apply to banks for consumer loans without collateral. Namely, they are often overdue, says Levan Nazarov, an investor and founder of Balance-Platforma. In addition, for fear of the devaluation of the ruble, people more actively purchased cars on credit last year. Thirdly, in the conditions of low mortgage rates and a preferential program announced by the state, they rushed to buy apartments.
Addressing potential borrowers, Nazarov gives some practical advice. To begin with, you should very carefully evaluate your solvency and income prospects. In no case should you take a loan to pay off the interest on the previous ones – this is the practice that forms bad debts. And if there are difficulties with work and income, it is better to contact the bank with a request for restructuring.
The expert explained the record growth of the debt load of the Russian population
Watch the related video
Our heavy debts