More People Borrow Money to Buy New Life

A recent survey, jointly conducted by the State Bureau of Statistics and MasterCard International, produced an interesting result: among the people who are willing to take the form of credit consumption, the majority are those with higher income. Housing and cars are still the two major items involving credit consumption in China nowadays.

Among the 2,100 interviewees from Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Xi'an, men showed more interest in this new type of consumption style than woman. Also, people with higher education background have better understanding of the concept; those in the age group 24-35 have an evident advantage over older people.

The results of two similar surveys carried out previously show residents from Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing and Zhengzhou are quite open to this new consumption concept. Perhaps surprisingly, Guangzhou, one of the nation's economic powerhouses, is less so.

Cantonese have a rather conservative attitude toward borrowing money. Generally speaking, the backbone of this group is people with a monthly income over 1,500 yuan to 8,000 yuan, especially those white-collar workers earning over 3,000 yuan.

Beijingers would like to use the borrowed money to buy a house and meet their daily expenditure. And the borrowing comes mainly from credit cards and relatives or friends. The credit volume range 50,000 to 80,000 yuan. However, the percentage of customers involved in credit payment in Beijing is the lowest among the seven cities, being only 11.3 percent.

As to the acceptance level of credit loan, interviewees in Beijing, Xi'an and Zhengzhou have the tendency to use mortgage credit, while those in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan would like to pay by credit card without a mortgage. As regard to individuals' credit standing, interviewees stress income level, moral qualities, educational level, social status and career. An individual's health status and age are not considered as vitally important.

State-owned banks play a key role in popularizing credit loans; 89.9 percent of the interviewees made these banks their first preference. However, more and more middle aged and young people have begun to keep an eye on the non-state ones.

The three major factors affecting citizens' decision in selecting bank for a loan are: bank reputation, service quality and service network. Interviewees with higher educational background lay more importance on the service convenience, while others think service quality should be considered. The former group also choose banks with which they have already had a business connection.

With more and more people becoming familiar with credit, their attitude towards it becomes more mature, too. Compared with the results of last year's survey, the demand for credit consumption has dropped a little. Potential demand for loans below 30,000 yuan, however, increased to 60 percent from 52 percent. People aged 24-50 show obvious strong potential demands than people at other stages of life, especially people with higher education and income.

Among those who have taken out a loan in the past six months, more than 70 percent were for no more than 30,000 yuan, slightly lower than the previous survey. This can be partly explained by seasonal factors, since the first quarter of the year is not the time to buy durable goods and the beginning of a new semester for students, usually means family expenditure decreasing.

The first five items paid for by credit are: house (including interior decoration), education, car, durables and household goods. Payments for the first three items dominate. Again, people with a monthly income over 3,000 yuan use most of their loans on house, car and education. However, as the income levels rise, people spend more on car, while expenditure for education declines.

The potential customers for credit and the key item involved: Between the age of 24 and 50, monthly income over 3,000 yuan -- house; Over the age of 24, white collar, high education -- education; Under the age of 24 or from 36 and 60, middle income level -- mobile phone, computer; Under the age of 24, blue collar -- travel.

( 06/11/2001)

In This Series

Credit Culture Comes to China

Sectoral Images in the Consumers’ Eyes

More People Buy Houses on Loans

Shanghai Ushers in Credit System

Credit Growth Poses Delicate Challenges



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