As the pressures on global credit increase so personal loans are feeling the squeeze, with some rates going up by around four percent, though Eskimo Loans rose by only 1 percent.
In a week when large numbers of lenders thought the time was right to increase their personal loan interest rates the consumer saw how the global economy was affecting them at a personal level. As the banks fight to maintain lines of credit and look to lend money only to those with the lowest perceived risk so interest rates are bound to rise to cover the costs of bad debts.
The worry is that this can cause a self-fulfilling prophecy, with consumers facing increased interest rates they have to pay more out each month, which leads to them potentially struggling to make repayments and then becoming a bad debt. On a purely statistical basis though the lenders will recoup more in extra interest overall than they will lose in bad debts, so they feel their actions are justified.
As mentioned, against a backdrop of some quite large rate increases the move by Eskimo Loans to add just one percentage point to their basic rate was seen as a reassuring step by their customers. They can deal with this level of increase though would not like to see many more on top of it.