Thailand at its highest household debt level in more than a decade

Thai household debt has risen to USD16,000 per household, the highest in 12 years

Woman hand counting Thai baht money as she plans to pay off her home loan debts. Doucefleur/Shutterstock

According to The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), household debt in Thailand has reached its peak in 12 years and COVID-19 is to be blamed for this crisis, reported Thai PBS World.

Based on data gathered from over 1,000 Thai participants, the survey indicated that the household debt has spiked to THB483,950 (USD16,062) per household in 2020, stated rector of UTCC Thanawat Polwichai.

This escalation could be attributed to the increasing unemployment rate that has caused income shortage, including higher costs of living. The survey also revealed that approximately 70 percent of the dues are new, and is a consequence of the economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Survey participants claimed that residents failed to make their loan or credit repayments. Around 72 percent of participants blamed the weak economy, 60 percent said that had insufficient income compared to expenses, while 55 percent mentioned decreased earnings.

Despite last year’s household debt being the highest in 12 years, more than 75 percent were legitimate lenders.

Polwichai proposed the government to implement further stimulus measures to help disentangle the household debt crisis, as well as aid self-employed citizens to prevent delayed loan repayments.