Ever more German families burdened with serious debt

New government figures show that ever more German families are living in debt.

Ever more German families burdened with serious debt
Photo: DPA

The number of families with a “high level of debt” rose from 1.64 million in 2006 to 1.87 million in 2016, according to Labour Ministry figures seen by the Nordwest Zeitung.

This classification goes for people or families which can’t pay back debts to several lenders over a long period of time.

“Ever more people are falling into a debt trap. In many cases this is caused by joblessness, illness or a low income,” Die Linke (The Left Party) deputy leader Sabine Zimmermann told the newspaper.

“The increasing level of debt is a reflection of the rising risk of poverty and the weakening of the social security system.”

The left-wing politician called for an improvement in the level of social security paid by the government so that people would not feel the need to take out private debts.

In a report published in July, the Federal Statistics Agency (Destatis) concluded that in 20 percent of cases of over-indebtedness, loss of employment was the cause of the problem.

Illness, addiction and accidents were also causes of indebtedness.

In 11 percent of cases, mismanagement of one’s household expenditure was seen to be the primary cause of indebtedness.

Only one in every seven of people who found themselves with serious money problems went to an advisor to seek help.

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