Article from The Star in 13 October 2012
KUCHING: Married people are by far the largest group of people who have sought help from the Credit Counselling and Management Agency (AKPK).
They constituted 77% or 58,831 out of 76,402 people who had enrolled in the agency’s debt management programme (DMP) from 2007 to August this year.
Single individuals only made up 16.6% while divorcees and widows accounted for 4.6% and 1.8%, respectively.
The figures released by the agency also showed that during the said period, there were more men — some 51,430, or 67.3% of them — who got into trouble with their finances than women.
In terms of age, 85% of those who had sought help were 30 years and above. Salary-wise, those who earned less than RM24,000 annually seemed to be the ones who needed help the most.
AKPK was set up by Bank Negara to provide the public with advice, consultation and services needed to tackle financial and credit problems as well as educate them on how to manage their finances more prudently. As of Aug 31 this year, 196,014 people had sought the assistance of AKPK with 80,664 of them enrolled in the DMP, which aims to help borrowers improve their financial standing.
Of those enrolled in the DMP, 78.28% faced a combination of financial difficulties, particularly in their housing loans, hire purchases and credit cards.
Those having credit card issues alone constituted 8.3% followed by housing loans (2.2%) and hire purchases (1.64%).
Among their main reasons for defaulting on servicing debts were poor financial planning (25%), high medical expenses (22%), business failures or slowdowns (15%), loss of control on usage of credit cards (13%), and loss of jobs or retrenchments (10%).