Crisis clauses are intended to help consumers if they default on their loans through no fault of their own due to illness, unemployment or separation. A temporary adjustment of the contract should give them time to overcome the financial crisis and maintain the credit relationship. According to the information, almost every second case of over-indebtedness in Germany in 2020 was due to unforeseen personal crises.
Corresponding regulations at the beginning of the Corona crisis have proven their worth from the point of view of consumer protection agencies. At that time, credit institutions had to defer consumers who were in distress due to the crisis, temporarily paying interest and repaying consumer loans for three months.
In addition, the vzbv demands that consumers only receive loan offers that are suitable for them. According to a report by the Institute for Financial Services, financial institutions too often pass out consumer loans beyond the needs of their customers. Some of the loans are unsuitable and too expensive.
In the case of a lack of creditworthiness, on the other hand, it should be taken into account whether a loan would increase economic performance, for example when financing a move to a new job.
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In Germany, 6.7 million new installment loan agreements were concluded last year. The total of consumer loans amounted to 235 billion euros. “Consumer credits enable economic and social participation. However, consumer protection and the responsibility of the banks must not be lost sight of,” said Müller.