88% of affluent people living in UAE have credit obligations

  • Survey shows improvement in the levels of awareness of the Bureau and Credit Reports
  • Credit cards are most common form of credit, followed by personal loans
  • In Dubai, use of credit cards to fund large and luxury purchases was more prominent

A YouGov survey launched in a joint effort by Al Etihad Credit Bureau and Citibank UAE has revealed the borrowing and repayment activities of affluent people living in the UAE.

The survey of people across the UAE earning more than $8,000 per month, shows that credit cards are the most popular form of credit, with 82% of respondents indicating they use one. Of those, around three quarters (71 %) had more than one card. Credit cards were also used frequently, with almost a third using their card daily, and almost half using it weekly

The report also highlighted strong awareness of credit reporting. A third of respondents (32%) were aware of the Al Etihad Credit Bureau and its credit reporting service, and of those one quarter (24%) had obtained a credit report from the Bureau.

An Al Etihad Credit Bureau spokesperson said: “The survey shows awareness of our credit reporting services is strong. The Bureau provides consumers and lenders with invaluable information about their credit history, which helps consumers to avoid borrowing more money than they can comfortably repay, and assist lenders in making informed decisions.”

‘’We take responsible finance seriously at Citi and we are happy to partner closely with Al Etihad Credit Bureau to help our customers  manage their credit and practice responsible finance by making wise borrowing decisions and maintaining a healthy credit history,’’said Dinesh Sharma Citi’s Consumer Banking Head in the Middle East.

The survey shows that credit cards were used most often to pay bills (71%), followed by day-to-day purchases (64%), and travelling abroad (63%).  
In Dubai, use of credit cards to fund large and luxury purchases was more prominent, with 64% of respondents in Dubai using their card to fund a large purchase, compared to 56% nationally.
Personal loans were the second most popular form of credit at 47%, followed by consumer leases (16%) and bank overdrafts (12%).

Twelve per cent (12%) of respondents say they do not have any credit products at all.

The survey also offered insights into the credit repayment habits of respondents.

Two thirds of credit card holders (63%) chose to pay off their credit card in lump sums.
Personal loans were most often taken out to cover large purchases, and were usually paid off in instalments over time (85%)
Around one in ten respondents (12%) make use of a banking overdraft, and of that small number, the most common use was for a few specific purchases. The majority chose to pay off their overdraft in one go, rather than in monthly instalments.



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