Surveys show that young adults in the Nordic region take more loans today than ever before. At the same time, they seem to have little knowledge about the impact of credits on their private economy. This is an unfortunate combination we think and something we would like to change.
In 2019 the market analytics company Kantar did a SIFO survey in Sweden showing that only 50 percent of 18-24-year-olds know what creditworthiness is and how it affects them. Every other person of the same age worries about their financial situation. Another report from the Swedish Enforcement Authority shows that the number of debt collection cases has increased among 18-25-year-olds.
I believe this is something that we collectively need to change. These young adults are usually not our customers. But they might be in the future and for us, it is important to contribute to society in as many ways as we can. One way to do this is to share and spread our knowledge about financial information and how it affects the private economy.
In the Swedish market, UCs credit reports are used by banks and creditors as a decision basis for almost 100 percent of all Swedish loan applications over 50 000 SEK. We gain great insight from these and it gives us a unique picture of the loan application flow and trends in the credit market. This insight and knowledge we are happy to share to decrease over-indebtedness in society in the future
What do we do?
We believe that knowledge is the key to reducing over-indebtedness and we need to start with our youngsters. We have therefore initiatives in both Sweden and Finland where we educate young people in matters concerning the private economy.
In Finland, this goes under the name TarkkaFyrkka, an initiative we have had since 2010. Every year we arrange and participate in seminars and lectures in schools. We also participate in events to talk about the importance of taking control of your own financial situation from an early age.
In Sweden, we started a similar initiative in 2017 called The Bill and have also initiated a long-term collaboration with Fryshuset. Together we organize regular workshops and seminars with young adults. We talk about their dreams and ambitions for the future and give them tips on what to think about when for example starting a business, we also talk about the importance of being educated and being in control of one’s personal finances.
I have attended these events myself and in my experience, most young people know that it is important to pay attention to their personal finances, but they don’t know how to do it practically.
Make private economy compulsory in school
Another way of increasing young people’s knowledge about the private economy would be to make it a compulsory subject in Upper Secondary school. This is something we have suggested before in debate articles. We hope this will be the reality in the future but until then, we will continue to educate young adults and give back to society what we can. By doing so we will do whatever we can do to decrease over-indebtedness in the Nordic region.