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  • 2008/12/05
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Evry, 4 December 2008

Sofinco today published a report showing that seniors are making increasing use of consumer credit. This is in part due to sheer numbers - seniors account for nearly 35 per cent of the French population - but also because of the extent of their revenues. These factors, combined with a less risky profile, give seniors confidence and increase their propensity to finance purchases through consumer credit.

More importantly, seniors' consumption habits have changed over the past few years. In 2007, 29 per cent of the 55-64 age group had taken out a consumer loan, compared with only 18 per cent in 1990. The same trend can be seen for the over-65s, since 21 per cent of this segment was repaying a loan in 2007, compared with 7 per cent in 1990.

Seniors rely on credit for several reasons. Like other generations, they usually finance a car purchase with some kind of loan. Consumer credit also provides seniors with greater access to leisure activities, and 70 per cent of buyers of new camping cars acquired on credit are aged 50 or over.

When they are not travelling, seniors fit out their homes or buy electronic appliances. For the most part they own their principal residence, and some 30 per cent of the 50-70 year-old segment also own a second home. In addition, seniors are increasingly providing financial assistance to their relatives - another reason for using credit. Some seniors prefer to buy goods on credit and use their savings to help out their children or grandchildren who are entering the job market. Others may use consumer credit to maintain a sufficient level of savings to cope with uncertainties regarding future retirement income or dependency.

The study is available on the Sofinco website at: www.sofinco.com, under “Overview of Consumer Credit”.

About Sofinco :
a specialised subsidiary of Crédit Agricole S.A., Sofinco is a leading European provider of consumer credit, with €54.5 billion loans outstanding at end-2007. It has 16.7 million customers in France and abroad. Through its subsidiaries, the Sofinco group is present in 21 countries. International business accounted for 60 per cent of Sofinco's outstanding loans at end-2007.

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