Hungarians have the lowest amounts of debt relative to their incomes in a European comparison, but many still experience difficulty with paying their bills, according to a fresh survey by receivables management company Intrum.
Of the Visegrád Group countries, Hungary registered the highest score on Intrum’s financial wellbeing barometer with 6.24 points. Slovakia scored 6.19, the Czech Republic 6.16 and Poland 5.54 points on the barometer which factors in the ability to pay bills on time, credit freedom, saving for the future and financial literacy.
Hungary’s relatively high score can be attributed primarily to the low volume of retail lending stock.
Hungary had the highest level of credit freedom out of all European countries.
Károly Deszpot, director of sales and business development at Intrum, said more than three-quarters of Hungarian respondents said they had not taken out any loans over the past six months, factoring in maxed-out credit cards.
The last couple of years saw an increase in the retail lending stock, mainly due to rising property prices and bigger mortgages, he said.
As regards the barometer’s other pillars, almost 40 percent of the survey’s Hungarian respondents said they had been late with bill payments on at least one occasion over the past six months.
Hungarians’ ability to manage their savings is slightly below the European average, while the country is ranked 12th in terms of financial literacy.
Germany registered the highest score (6.89) on the barometer, followed by Austria (6.77) and Sweden (6.72), with Greece registering the lowest score (5.30).