Tuesday, October 28, 2008

India Gets Caught up in Whirlwind of Credit Card Debt

It looks like credit woes are pretty much the same around the world. The Indian middle-class, enjoying rising prosperity, has gotten caught up in fast-rising revolving credit card debt that they seem to little understand and have difficulty managing.

Unsecured loans and credit card receivables more than three months overdue: 7%-9% of total loans outstanding this year; expected to rise to 15% according to ratings agency Crisil Ltd. in Mumbai.

Number of credit cards in India: 30 million, up 3x in the last 5 years.

At the end of FY '08 (ended March 31) Indians charged more than $14 billion on their credit cards, over 3x the amount charged four years ago.

Indians have little experience with handling revolving credit and more people are turning up desperate for help with their credit card payments, according to V.N. Kulkami, chief counselor at Mumbai's Abhay Credit Counseling Center, which advises borrowers.

Credit Card Payments in India 2004 - 2008

Source: WSJ

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