Survey: accounts of millions of germans are in the red

The look at the Bank statement May have given one or two people a scare in January. Insurance, club fees or annual bills, for example for gym membership, are usually due in January, when the account is often not lavishly filled anyway after the Christmas season.

Who does not consider that with the planning, can fast into the Minus slip. And this has apparently happened to many Germans this year as well.

An extrapolated 5.6 million Germans are in the red

As a representative Civey survey commissioned by the credit portal Smava among more than 2.500 respondents, 8.1 percent found their accounts in the red at the beginning of the year.

Extrapolated, this equates to around 5.6 million Germans over the age of 18. A further 7.5 percent stated that there was a risk that they would soon be in the red. The inquiry is to our editorship before.

Overdrafts of up to 14.75 percent

This can sometimes be expensive. Because once the checking account is in the red, an overdraft becomes due. And that costs according to an analysis of the "Stiftung Warentest" under 1.241 banks, savings banks, Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken on average at present 9.6 per cent.

The range is large according to "Stiftung Warentest": Deutsche Skatbank, for example, charges zero percent overdraft interest on flat accounts, whereas some Volksbanks charge up to 14.75 percent – with overdraft interest even sometimes up to 19.75 percent.

Installment credits are more favorable – but more inflexibly

Once you're in debt, it's often difficult to get out again quickly. According to a survey commissioned by Smava last November, more than one-third of respondents said they took longer than a month to repay the overdraft. And that can get expensive.

"The longer you're in overdraft, the more likely it is that unplanned expenses like a broken appliance or an expensive car repair will further delay repayment," Smava CEO Alexander Artope told our editorial team.

He advises that, in such a case, it is better to Installment credit to switch. The catch here is that, according to the Bundesbank, installment loans in Germany are considerably cheaper than overdraft facilities at an average of 5.9 percent, but the term is at least one year. A repayment plan is agreed with the bank, and the flexibility of the overdraft facility is lost.

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