December 30th, 2013. Ben Lloyd
How do people in other countries deal with debt?
Believe it or not, not everyone deals with debt the same way. While you may scrimp and save, others will borrow and steal. But is there a norm for people in different countries?
It is very hard to say. You can find distinct patterns based on national averages, however the mind-set of the individual and the availability of finance goes a long way to decide how people deal with debt. Here are a few examples:
Kicking off the list with a few home truths, and unfortunately the average debt per person in the UK is around £54,000 – an increase of almost double from just ten years ago. So what does this say about us? Frankly, we are constantly borrowing. From the bank, from payday lenders, from each other. This shows us that the average Brit isn’t dealing with debt particularly well, whenever we face money problems the common solution seems to be borrowing more. One of the most popular solutions for businesses is invoice factoring, which provides funding between the time an invoice is issued and being paid off. Thanks to this method many clever businesses have been able to survive the economic debt.
Despite being one of the most advanced countries there is, the Japanese debt is sky high. In fact, they are £6.71 trillion in debt – that’s 6 times more than in the UK! While a lot of this is due to the national debt, the country’s personal debt is higher than pretty much everywhere else. Similarly to the UK, the Japanese borrow money from everything, to pay for everything. However, their hard-working culture means that they then work much longer hours and multiple jobs in order to repay these debts. The Japanese pride themselves on their working ethics, constantly advancing and improving their businesses to stay top of their field.
The United States is very similar to Japan in that they appear to be very prosperous, but in reality the average debt is unbelievable. In fact, the average household debt is more than $225,000 with credit cards, student loans, mortgages all adding to this number. One of the biggest problems for Americans is payday loans, which are a thriving industry in the states and can often cause more of a problem than there initially was.
American business debt provokes some serious concern from the rest of the world, and part of this is due to the average household debt. Many people are unable to afford luxury products and services, so reaching the international market has been a major part of their success in recent years. The US government has also had to lend a helping hand to some of its biggest home-grown companies like Ford, in order to keep Americans in work and provide the export goods they need to crawl their way out of debt.
Many countries and businesses are very similar in the way in which they handle debt. There really is no right or wrong, but if you have the choice between invoice factoring or taking out another loan – invoice should be the obvious winner. Instead of throwing yourself deeper into debt, you simply receive the finance from a different source until the original debt is paid.
Article By Ben Lloyd
December 30th, 2013
Ben is the Director and Co-Founder of the Pure Group and Managing Director of Pure Property Finance.
Following a career in Barclays, where Ben was in the real estate finance team for 8 years, he decided that the market needed a more forward-thinking type of commercial brokerage so founded Pure Commercial Finance (now Pure Property Finance), the first company within the Pure Group.
Ben has extensive experience across the real estate sector and has participated in over £2bn of real estate transactions during the course of his career.
Ben oversees the general strategy at Pure Group and works with the senior leadership team to drive the Group forward. Ben is also on the Executive Committee of FIBA.See more articles by Ben