Why do people have great personal debts


Dieter Korczak

To person

Dr. rer. pol., graduate economist specializing in the social sciences, born 1948; Managing Director and Scientific Director of the GP Research Group, Institute for Basic and Program Research, Nymphenburgerstr. 47, 80335 Munich.
Email: [email protected] Internet: www.gp-f.com

The over-indebtedness of banks is homemade, that of private households is mainly caused by external factors. Why are 3.5 million over-indebted households not supported and rescued in the same way as a handful of over-indebted banks?


Little thought is given to fairness in dealing with private debts (and those who cause it). The crisis in the financial system and the associated economic crisis completely mask the problem of the long-known overindebtedness of German private households. The financial crisis and private over-indebtedness show astonishing parallels.

Doesn't almost everyone get into debt with smaller or larger sums of money at some point? Can many things in life, from furnishing the home to the car to one's own house, not only be acquired by borrowing and thus through debt? And is it not fundamental to an adult personality, to a rational consumer, to ensure that debt does not turn into over-indebtedness? Over-indebtedness means the inability to service current and future obligations even if all costs are reduced to essential expenses from income and assets. As a result, the assumption could be justified that household over-indebtedness is caused by poor economic activity, the consequences of which households are right to bear.

But not only individuals and private households can get into over-indebtedness, but also banks and other companies. Could these, like the individuals, not be able to do business? And if so, do you have to expect similar consequences and sanctions? The answer to this question is to be sought by comparing the causes of and dealing with individual over-indebtedness and the current situation of banks.