Access to credit and economic reactivation in Honduras cushioned the effects of the pandemic and hurricanes

Tegucigalpa – Access to credit in Honduras cushioned the negative effects of the pandemic and hurricanes Eta and Iota in the country, but the percentage of people with overdue debts went from 20.09% during the first quarter of 2020 to 25.22% in the same period of 2022.

– Eight out of 10 women show better payment behavior in their credits.

– Honduras has a healthy financial sector and it is an opportunity to guarantee sustainable access to credit through education and financial inclusion.

This follows from the First Study of Credit Behavior of Hondurans prepared by the Banking and Finance career and the Institute of Economic and Social Research of the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) with the support of Equifax, a leading global company in data, analytics and technology.

Likewise, the average amount of overdue credit rose by L. 10 thousand during the first quarter of 2022, that is, while an average Honduran owed L. 39 thousand today that amount represents L. 49 thousand.

In relation to the number of active loans, 4 out of 10 are in the commercial sector (warehouses, commercial houses). In second place are the credits of the combined sector (for example, a person who has a debt in a commercial house and in a bank), with 30% of the active credits in Honduras.

Now, in relation to the classification of overdue loans in 2022, the average amount of bad debt is L. 65 thousand. A relevant fact is that it is confirmed that eight out of 10 Honduran women are up to date with the payment of their debts compared to men where seven out of 10 are up to date.

Although the total distribution of credits by sex is quite equal, men far exceed the total of overdue credits with 56%. Although women are better payers, the average amount of debt is comparatively lower (L, 42 thousand).

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Likewise, people from generations X and Y are the ones who accumulate the largest number of active loans during 2022, but it is generation Z that has the highest rate of delinquent loans with 30%.

Ricardo Matamoros, director of the Institute of Economic and Social Research, stated how generating knowledge and critical information needed by public and private decision makers for UNAH is part of its contribution to the development of Honduras.

Matamoros explained how studies like this are pushing the frontier of collaboration between academia and the private sector: “in this joint effort between UNAH and Equifax, knowledge is being generated to answer critical questions that were unanswered about the credit behavior of the Honduran population, becoming a framework for discussion, analysis and proposals of ideas and solutions oriented towards a more dynamic, innovative and inclusive credit market.

Alejandro Flores, General Director of Central America for Equifax, indicated the importance of monitoring the health of the credit ecosystem, since it is the only way to generate clear policies on financial inclusion, develop financial education programs and empower the consumer, is to give visibility to the behavior in credit consumption.

“The challenge for the financial sector lies in learning more about the consumers who changed as a result of the pandemic. Today they behave differently, they act more quickly, they expect better credit conditions and that the offers that are presented to them are practically a tailored suit,” Flores said. JS