Swedish women matching men for debt

The Swedish Enforcement Authority has revealed that Swedish women are now defaulting on SMS loans at the same rate as men, for the first time ever.

The SEA’s Cecilia Fredholm said, “Traditionally men’s debt has dominated, but in 2010 we detected indications that women’s percentage share of unpaid SMS loans had increased. Last year, women stood for 50 percent of the cases,” reports The Local. Those most at risk of defaulting were found to live in the counties of Halland, Jamtland and Kronoberg.

Officials have called the increasing phenomenon a major concern, because females typically do not have substantial savings due to salary disparities and often do not have a solid social network. Fredholm added, “Our conclusion is that women are more exposed when they experience problems with their private finances.”

She explained that the problem also stems from overall changes in society in recent years. “Not that long ago, white goods were the only things you could buy on credit; today you can buy clothes, food and petrol and pay after the fact,” Fredholm said.

In response, Fredholm is spearheading a new SEA website that aims to counteract the trend, which offers official advice, collated information and testimonies from women regarding how to keep finances in order and how to recover from the burden of significant debt.

Fredholm added that there was still much work to be done however: “We need help to spread information and communicate knowledge,” she told The Local.