Percentage of young Malaysia facing debt defaults reduced, says AKPK


Article from Borneo Post, dated 11 June 2013


GEORGE TOWN: The percentage of young Malaysians facing debt defaults has been reduced to 10 per cent as at April this year from 15.8 per cent in 2009, according to the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK).


It said the younger generation under its Debt Management Programme (DMP) was more savvy in financial management and most of them preferred to use debit cards instead of credit cards.


“AKPK is concerned about those in the 20 to 30 age group as they are always in debt.


“The reduction now shows a healthy indication,” AKPK’s chief executive officer, Koid Swee Lian, told reporters after briefing financial institutions here yesterday.


She said AKPK hoped that its credit and financial management education would reach out to one million people this year from 650,000 people in 2009 via active road shows and smart collaborations.


Koid said the reason for the highest default in servicing debt under its DMP was poor financial planning (23 per cent as at April this year) and high medical cost (20 per cent).


She said as at April this year, 3,412 cases were successfully exited from AKPK’s DMP with a total outstanding debt of RM130.86 million.


Koid said AKPK, with its smart partners – Minggu Saham Amanah Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia’s Mobile LINK, Higher Education Corp’s Loan Fund and higher learning institutions – helped educate the public on financial and debt management.


“Some 75 institutions of higher learning are offering elective personal financial management courses to empower young graduates to be financial-savvy,” she said.


It featured, among others, 40 learning hours, 14 teaching hours, study visits, examinations and seminars, she said.


“The module also features four hours of learning the agency’s money and debt management programme called Power!,” she said.