Heidelberg – Last year, Germans invested an average of € 285 * in Christmas gifts. Around one in five consumers is even willing to borrow money for the gifts. This is the result of a representative survey by the market research institute YouGov on behalf of the independent consumer portal Verivox. For 79 percent of respondents, it is out of the question to take out a loan for it.


Picture: Money Image: © ElenaR / fotolia.com / Text: Verivox

11 percent would use the credit for gifts

Asked about the type of borrowing 11 percent of all respondents would use their credit line. Financing through the dealer is eligible for 6 percent, additional installment loan or personal loan from family or friends for 4 percent each.

January: 8 percent slip into the dispo

After Christmas and New Year, additional expenses are incurred – as for insurance or winter holidays. After all, 8 percent use their credit line more than in the rest of the year. Extrapolated to the 102 million current accounts that the Bundesbank reports for 2014, it could affect up to 8 million accounts. However, the majority in January does not change the use of the credit line. It either does not use it at all or at least does not use it more than during the rest of the year.

Around one in ten consumers permanently in the credit line

Overall, more than every second consumer has already made experiences with the Dispo. 11 percent state that they are almost always in credit. 16 percent take it occasionally and 29 percent rarely.

Rather than paying interest on an expensive credit line, rescheduling can make sense. “If financial bottlenecks are foreseeable, consumers can already react in advance and take care of a cheaper installment loan instead of permanently using the expensive credit line,” says Ingo Weber, Managing Director of Verivox. The new financial cushion should then not be used for further expenditure, but only for loan repayment. “Otherwise, it is best to finance long-lived goods with credit. This usually does not include Christmas presents, “says Ingo Weber.

Umschulden: Saving potential largely underestimated

Anyone who, for example, reschedules 3,000 euros from the debit to a installment loan, saves up to 358 euros in interest over the course of three years. According to an evaluation by Stiftung Warentest (08/2015), average disbursement rates are 10.25 percent. In contrast, consumers can already get a installment loan for an effective fixed rate of 2.51 percent and pay 117 euros interest – with three-year loan term. If you reduce your credit line by 3,000 euros during the same period, you pay 475 euros in interest, which is 358 euros more.

Survey participants were also asked about the maximum savings potential for the debt. Only 8 percent appreciate it correctly. Fifty percent underestimated or did not believe in saving potential, and overestimated 13 percent.


All data, unless otherwise stated, are provided by YouGov Deutschland AG. 2021 people took part in the survey between 18.11 and 20.11.2015. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population (age 18+).


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