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Fewer Filipinos access credit in Q4

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Fewer Filipinos access credit in Q4
Based on the fourth quarter consumer pulse study of TransUnion Philippines, fewer Filipinos see credit as an important factor in achieving their financial goals.
STAR / File

Amid high rates

MANILA, Philippines — Fewer Filipinos are availing of credit in the fourth quarter due to high borrowing costs and the fear of falling prey to fraud and scams.

Based on the fourth quarter consumer pulse study of TransUnion Philippines, fewer Filipinos see credit as an important factor in achieving their financial goals.

The study showed that there has been a decline to 58 percent from 64 percent among Filipinos who consider credit as an important tool for their finances.

Likewise, those who have adequate access to financial products also decreased to 40 percent in the fourth quarter from 45 percent in the same period last year.

According to TransUnion, nearly 60 percent of Filipinos who considered applying for new credit or refinancing existing credit eventually did not push through with it.

“The high cost of borrowing was the primary deterrent, followed by turning to an alternative funding source, and then income or employment status,” TransUnion said.

Further, the consumer survey showed that the prevalence of digital fraud remains a leading concern for Filipinos.

TransUnion president and CEO Pia Arellano noted that the pervasiveness of digital fraud is a possible reason that 90 percent of respondents express concern over sharing their personal information.

Data shows that local online scam victims lost over P155 million to various fraudulent schemes from January to August this year.

“Data privacy safeguards personal identity and promotes trust in digital interactions in an increasingly data-driven world,” Arellano said.

For now, the study revealed that Filipinos are focusing on building financial resilience amid the current high-pressure economic environment.

As such, 51 percent of Filipinos are saving more in their emergency funds, and more than a third are accelerating their debt repayments.

While some foresee increased spending on bills and loans, and retail purchases, others intend to cut spending on non-essential items like large purchases of cars and appliances, and even digital services.

“This nuanced approach to managing finances reflects a population that is navigating economic uncertainties with caution,” Arellano said.

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