The type of loans Bulgarians take out most often is a consumer home improvement loan (35%), according to the results from a national representative online survey, carried out by Gemius Bulgaria and commissioned by Postbank. The other most common reason for taking out loans, selected by 34% of respondents, is debt consolidation. It is followed by purchases of automobiles (24%) and home furniture (22%). 11% of respondents would borrow a loan to finance their vacation.
Postbank’s experts report a continuous trend of increasing consumer lending in the first half of 2019. In line with the improving macroeconomic indices, the average amount of new consumer loans went up by 7.2% to nearly BGN 13,400 in 2019 from BGN 12,500 a year earlier. Good conditions of consumer loans, low unemployment rate and the favourable economic prospects are among the major factors for the uptick. The average loan repayment period remains five years.
Gemius’ survey shows that the average amount of home improvement consumer loans is nearly BGN 12,800 and of vacations loans – BGN 3,800. Investment in home furniture is slightly less – nearly BGN 9,400.
Nearly one-third (36%) of the respondents with a consumer loan said they borrowed it out of convenience reasons. 28% of them pointed out they preferred to plan their expenses according to their income, 13% of them took out a consumer loan out of necessity and 7% of them see borrowing a consumer loan as a part of their everyday life.
The applicants for consumer loans are mostly people with a university degree, aged 40-50, slightly more often women than men, with a family and average monthly income of BGN 900-2,000. The better financial profile of loan applicants is determined by their better education and job. Consumers do not stop travelling, going out and doing sports even after taking out a loan. They can rely on a BGN 400-800 budget for their leisure time and travelling more than two times a year in Bulgaria and as often abroad, eating out in restaurants once in 2-3 weeks, seeing a movie once in several weeks, going to the gym once in 2-3 weeks and spending time out with friends several times a week
Postbank’s experts report that customers seek products and services tied to consumer loans, which create added value. This is why, the lender will offer consumer loans with new, better conditions until end-August. In addition, clients can rely on fast processing of loan applications – up to two working hours, receiving the loan within up to one working hour, an option of free, express issue of a debit card or consolidation of payments on loans and other credit products. As part of the bank’s strategy for developing innovative financing channels, Postbank will continue investing in the express consumer lending centres, Momento, where clients can apply for a loan for just 40 minutes and at convenient locations.
The bank’s data also shows that 76% of the clients, who have borrowed a consumer loan, are interested in having a credit card to make various purchases in the summer. Using a credit card, clients receive many discounts and privileges when travelling, booking up hotel rooms, purchasing plane tickets, etc. They also get a 3% discount for making reservations and payments via Postbank’s credit card on Booking.com or can protect their rights in case of flight disruption thanks to the bank’s and ClaimCompass’ innovative service. The results of the analysis show that 75% of clients use internet banking and prefer making payments fast, easy, conveniently and from any location when travelling. 97% of consumers prefer relying on better security provided by an insurance under the Payments Protection programme.
More information about Postbank’s consumer loans is available on the bank’s website, www.postbank.bg, in specialized centres and offices. To create as much convenience as possible for its clients, the lender provides also services such as consultation with a mobile banking expert or applying for a loan on *7224.