The acceptance procedures that lenders use when taking out a personal loan seem to work well.

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This is what the National Institute for Budget Information says in the research ‘A personal loan: choices and experiences of consumers’ that is being published today.

The institute therefore advocates examining whether this type of procedure can apply to all loans that are provided in the Netherlands, including small loans.

Nibud investigated which choices consumers make when taking out a loan. The way in which the lender’s web page is set up influences the loan that consumers choose. It is the first time in the Netherlands that research has been conducted into the influence of the choice environment, such as a website, on the loan that consumers choose.

Acceptance procedures personal loan as an example

5 percent of Dutch people have a personal loan. With a personal loan, the term is fixed and the consumer receives the loan amount immediately. Most consumers who take out a personal loan are usually detained for 8 years and round off the 300 euros every month. Yet almost no one (5 percent) indicates that paying off is a problem. And almost nobody (3 percent) says that they should not have taken out the loan in hindsight.

For anyone who wants to take out a personal loan, it is checked whether the monthly costs of the loan match the income, the family composition and the other payment obligations. This check is more extensive with personal loans than with other types of consumer credit.

More than half of the Dutch have a consumer credit product. This includes a revolving credit card, a credit card, and also a prepaid telephone or a mail order credit. Last summer the Bureau Kredietregistratie (BKR) reported that 6.4 percent of BKR-registered borrowers, over 674,000 consumers, had a payment arrears on their loans.

Recent research by the AFM shows that these arrears mainly occur with loans of amounts between 250 and 1,000 euros. With these credits, the audit of the financial data is less extensive than with personal loans. It is important to Nibud that consumers who take out a loan know whether they can afford it and do not get stressed. The institute therefore advocates that the acceptance procedure be improved for all types of credits.

Show clearer total amount and duration

The Nibud survey shows that almost all respondents (96 percent) have checked in advance whether they can pay the repayment. And 92 percent are satisfied with the loan afterwards. The term of the loan appears to be relevant for the level of satisfaction with it. The longer the term, the more dissatisfied people are.

Nibud advises the lenders to help consumers better monitor the term of the loan during the closing process. Now the consumer is paying particular attention to the interest and the amount of the monthly amount. While Nibud sees that the way consumers experience the loan, it is influenced by the term. The Nibud survey showed that consumers opted for a shorter term and – therefore for a lower total amount – when lenders showed the total amount of the loan on the website more clearly.

Facts Personal loans:

The income of households with a personal loan is on average between modal and more than twice the average (2,000 euros to 4,000 euros net per month).

Purpose of the loan:

  1. Skip
  2. Renovation / improvement home
  3. Purchase car / motorcycle

Most common terms and monthly payments per loan goal:

Reason for loan Total amount Duration Monthly amount
Skip 30,000 euros 9 years 400 euros
Home improvement 25,000 euros 10 years 300 Euro
Vehicle 15,000 5 years 250 euros

What does the consumer pay attention to when closing top-4:

  1. 59% note the speed at which the loan can be arranged
  2. 58% note the low interest rates
  3. 46% note the possibility to pay off without penalty
  4. 44% opt for intermediaries who give consumers a good feeling

Backgrounds in this study

This research was made possible by funding from the Dutch Association of Finance Companies (VFN) and with the assistance of lenders and intermediaries who asked their clients to cooperate with this research. The study surveyed 850 consumers who had taken out a personal loan less than two years ago. Prof. dr. Dr. Wilco van Dijk and Dr. Lotte van Dillen from the Nibud Chair Psychological determinants of economic choice behavior at Leiden University have read. Part of this research is part of the doctoral research of Nibud researcher Minou van der Werf, who hopes to promote in Leiden in 2020.