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Increase in Elderly Debt Collection Cases: A Growing Trend Revealed

In several articles, Nettavisen has written about Norwegians struggling with unpaid bills and debt collection claims. Earlier in April informed the debt collection giant Kredinor that the size of our debt collection claims is larger than before – but that they were not more in number.

In Statistics Norway’s recent living conditions survey, 970,000 people, or 20 percent of the population over 16, stated that in 2023 they could not manage an unforeseen expense of NOK 20,000 without taking out a loan or selling items.

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Doubling in number of cases

The debt collection agency Intrum, which has a market share of over 30 per cent in Norway, informs Nettavisen that they are now seeing an “all time high” in the number of debt collection cases for the elderly over the age of 60.

– This is a clear picture that has formed over the past ten years, where the elderly receive more debt collection, while the younger receive less. The elderly now make up 15 per cent of the total amount collected, compared to 5 per cent 14 years ago. The number of cases has doubled in the last six years for those over 60, writes Eivind Evjen, press manager at Intrum Skandinavia, to Nettavisen.

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It is mainly about debt collection cases within online shopping, insurance, telephone and electricity.

But what is the reason for that?

The online newspaper has had a chat with Morten Trasti, chief analyst at Intrum, to find out the reasons for the disturbing trend.

He says that it is connected, among other things, to the fact that we live longer, are healthier, which in isolation means that you use more money and credit for a longer period than you did before.

But there are also other nuances, says Trasti. The growth in the number of debt collection cases is faster than population growth.

– It is reasonable to believe that those who turn 60 take with them completely different credit habits into old age than those who leave this category. So those over 60 are becoming an increasingly credit-active group, says Trasti.

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On the other side of the scale, the chief analyst says that another factor is that we start families later than before.

– It shifts the need for credit cards further in time. At the same time, you take longer and longer education, which means that you enter a permanent job later, and later receive a permanent income. Fixed income is in most cases a prerequisite for getting credit.

Payment notes and pandemic

At the same time that debt collection cases are piling up for the elderly, there is also talk of more payment notices for this age group.

It is especially because the number of debt collection cases fell like a stone during the pandemic, says Trasti.

– The exception was for those over 60. In addition to debt collection cases, the number of payment notices also increased, he says.

2024-04-14 19:31:24
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