What drives people to get debts and get into debt?

The accelerated succession of financial crises has thrown everyone into a new condition: that of a permanent debt. Unknown to previous generations, indebtedness begins with birth and affects behavior, ways of acting, and relationships “, writes Dona in one of his articles, providing a series of interesting ideas on which to reflect.

If we look at this scenario considering the Italian public debt, equal to about 2,170 billion, each of us has “the office” the quota of about 33,000 euros. A figure that in a family with an average income of around 2,000 euros a month would be a big problem. Of course it is an abstract debt that none of us is actually called to honor directly but that we know very well how much it affects the performance of the economy.

The real indebtedness of Italian families is more tangible. The amount of loans to customers providedby banks operating in Italy rose by 71.9 percent in April 2015 compared to the same month last year.

In detail, the amount of the requests are:

  • 30, 4% from 100,000-150,000 euros,
  • 26.2% from 0 to 75,000,
  • 21% from75,000 to 100,000,
  • 19.7% from 150,000 to 300,000,
  • 2.7% over 300,000.

Less accentuated the ‘ increase in loans to households by 10.8% increased in April 2015 compared to April 2014.

In detail, the percentages of the requested amount ranges are:

  • 50.7% from 0 to 5000 euros,
  • 19% from 5000 to 10,000,
  • 21.3% from 10,000 to 20,000,
  • 7.5% from 20,000 to 30,000,
  • 1.4% from 35,000 to 75,000,
  • 0.1% over 75,000.

On the basis of some studies Italians are indebted mainly for:

  • have liquidity (34%),
  • purchase of the house or for building works (21%),
  • buy a used car (20%),
  • furniture (10%),
  • buy a new car (9%),
  • debt consolidation (6%).

The area asking for more loans is Northern Italy with 51% of the requests, while there is a substantial parity between Central Italy (24%) and the South and Islands (25%).

One of the most famous scholars of contemporary society, the sociologist and philosopher, in several essays has analyzed the causes of this growing indebtedness. Among the fundamental steps that for Pauman favored a change of mentality in individual behavior and in the propensity to purchase people, there was the introduction of credit cards and the ease of obtaining loans and installments.

A real revolution, which took place in the Nineties, which made it possible to satisfy wishes with ease, exactly the opposite of the times when “it was – wrote – to procrastinate the fulfillment of one’s desires: tighten the belt, deny other delights, be cautious and park in expenses and deposit the money so gathered on a savings account in the hope of being able, with the necessary care and patience, to accumulate enough to be able to realize their dreams “.

Pauman remembers the story of a fifty-one who had accumulated a debt of 58,000 pounds on 14 credit cards and various loans: “With the surge in costs of fuel, electricity and gas could no longer pay interest. Deploring, in hindsight, the recklessness that had thrown him into this unfortunate situation, he took it with those who had lent him the money: part of the fault is also them, he said, because they make it terribly easy to get into debt. “

The phenomenon is so widespread that in the Net where they were born of real communities, forums, chats, Facebook pages, dedicated to indebted persons. Life stories alternate with expert advice, updates on civil and banking legislation, and news on judgments of jurisprudence. “Yet almost everything in the contemporary economy lives above consumption – Matteo Sacchi writes – on the fact that money circulates, on the fact that someone lends and someone else receives and, perhaps, returns. A complex mechanics on which the best economists often break the skull. But it is certain that the consumer, both public and private, with his “I will pay”, with his confidence is, and apparently will be, the real engine of the economic system.

That this was an inevitable trend had guessed in the early nineteenth century Jacques-Gilbert Ymbertwho, with a provocative and burlesque spirit, proposed to the astonished French readers his pamphlet ” The art of making debts “.

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