Last year we published a report on financially stressed households, including coverage of small amount credit contracts, using data from our household surveys.
Now Professor Gill North has published an important academic paper – see this link – “Small Amount Credit Contract Reforms in Australia: Household Survey Evidence and Analysis” which takes the analysis of the survey data much further. Here is the abstract.
A review of small amount credit contract regulation in Australia began in 2015 as mandated under section 335A of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth). The review panel sought comprehensive data on industry and consumer characteristics and trends. To provide such evidence, consumer groups commissioned original empirical research using data collected from a longitudinal survey that monitors the financial position and attitudes of Australian households. This data on household use of small amount credit contract loans was extracted for the last decade, allowing detailed analysis of the historical patterns and developing trends. The data indicates that overall demand for small amount short duration credit is growing in Australia, the consumer base is broadening, and the predominant form of lending today is online. Deeper analysis highlights the varying motivations of borrower households and their different stages and levels of financial difficulty. It also confirms the socio-economic, employment, educational and financial disadvantages of most households using these loans and their vulnerability to adverse changes in personal circumstances and negative external shocks.