The over-indebtedness of European households

Funded by: European Commission (Directorate General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO))
Published by: European Commission 
Publication date: 2014
Lead organisation: Civic Consulting, in cooperation with PFRC.
Key staff (PFRC): Sharon Collard, Andrea Finney, Elaine Kempson

The aim of this study is to provide a systematic and comparable snapshot of the situation of households' over-indebtedness in all EU Member States. It analyses the causes and nature of over-indebtedness and its effects on citizens' daily lives and financial institutions, as well as its wider socio-economic consequences. Finally, it covers the measures in place across the European Union to alleviate the effects of over-indebtedness and the organisations that are active in this field. The study was conducted by Civic Consulting of the Consumer Policy Evaluation Consortium, in cooperation with the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre.

The study is based on the analysis of 277 stakeholder interviews in all Member States (covering financial industry, civil society organisations, public authorities, and independent experts), a total of 120 face-to-face interviews with over-indebted households in six countries (France, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK), desk research and analysis of available statistical data, an analysis of specific aspects in selected Member States through country experts, and an EU27 survey of organisations active in addressing instances of over-indebtedness, debt counselling and guidance services.

The Over-indebtedness of European Households: Synthesis of Findings (PDF, 2,813kB)
The Over-indebtedness of European Households: Country Reports [External link to PDF, 10.5Mb]

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