Consumer Credit Demand flat despite growth in Personal Loans and Buy Now, Pay Later
16th May 2022

Mortgage demand fell -4.6% in Q1 2022, marking the first decline in more than two years according to the latest Equifax Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index (Mar 2022).

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Daniel owes money to a financier. Over two weeks he receives six phone calls asking him to make arrangements for repayment. For five of the calls, he’s been too busy to answer. Only once has he been contacted after midday, which is when he’s free and more likely to pick up the phone.

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COVID-19 has fast-tracked existing shifts in Australian consumer retail behaviour, promising to change the marketing, distribution and selling of automobiles forever.

Auto retailers need to adapt now to a new reality because businesses waiting for stabilisation are taking a considerable risk, said KPMG National Leader of Motor Industry Services, Steven Bragg. Speaking at the recent Equifax Automotive Finance Forum, Mr Bragg said the auto industry was in crisis and in need of transformation before the pandemic even came along.

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If you have volunteers working for your organisation, the responsibility lies with you to find out if their Working With Children Check has been suspended or revoked. 

Without a process in place for verifying and monitoring your volunteers’ Working With Children Check, you may not have up-to-date information on their clearance status. A volunteer may have had their check clearance denied, yet this could go unnoticed.

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Equifax Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index: June 2020

Overall consumer credit applications down -38.8% (vs June quarter 2019) Credit card applications dropped significantly by -45.4% (vs June quarter 2019) Personal loan applications dropped -33.5% (vs June quarter 2019) Buy now pay later applications reduced -7.3% (vs June quarter 2019) Auto loan applications down -13.7% (vs June quarter 2019) Mortgage applications increased by +7.6% (vs June quarter 2019).
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Equifax Quarterly Business Credit Demand Index: June 2020

Overall business credit applications down -7.53% (vs June quarter 2019) Business loan applications decreased by -4.11% (vs June quarter 2019) Trade credit applications fell -17.82% (vs June quarter 2019) Asset finance applications declined -6.72% (vs June quarter 2019).
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It’s a well-known fact that registering on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) boosts your rights when faced with customer insolvency. It’s a lesser-known fact that it’s equally useful when a customer wants to sell their business.

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Equifax has been monitoring the impact of government stimulus on commercial SME lending, as well as tracking trade payments to determine the impact of COVID-19.

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Companies large and small are going out of business. If one of these is your customer and you’re not a secured creditor, expect to lose out. There’s a world of difference between registering on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) to become a secured creditor or remaining unsecured by not registering.

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When a business goes into insolvency, there’s an order by which creditors are paid. Secured creditors take precedent, along with the insolvency practitioner, who receives a fee for managing the process. To be a secured creditor, you must have successfully registered your security interests in equipment and goods (‘personal property’) that you’ve sold on terms or leased to the customer. This registration happens on a national online noticeboard known as the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

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Few can predict what the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis will look like long-term, but even before this pandemic, there was a growing need for lenders to get better at predicting credit risk.  With a greater influx of data and rapid changes in consumer behaviour, traditional risk scoring models like linear regression, are often not up to the task of predicting default risk for complex applications involving multiple data sources and relationships.

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