CAR loans to pay back banks

Publish date: 20-11-2009
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In the past year, mutual assistance houses (CAR) have become the main way in which persons with low income have managed to obtain a loan to cover their daily expenses.

According to data provided by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), there are 2,998 mutual assistance houses in Romania at present, divided into two categories, for employees and retirees. The amount the clients of such houses can borrow is limited to three times the amount they contributed.

"Over 75 percent of the people borrowing from CAR use the money to pay their bank instalments. Also, people prefer such loans, because they know exactly when and how much they have to pay. The conditions of a CAR loan are not like those of a bank, and if the debtor cannot pay his or her instalment, we wait until he recovers financially," said the representative of a mutual help house.

Banks also have mutual assistance houses for their employees.

For example, 38 loans were granted by a county CAR of CEC Bank in the first nine months of this year, at an annual interest rate of 12 percent.

According to the representatives of this institution, the largest loan granted was of RON 5,000 (€1,168).

Most of the clients of mutual assistance houses are retirees. In the town of Videle, the CAR for retirees granted 2,250 loans worth a total RON 4.1 million (€970,000) in the first three quarters. "The largest loan was of RON 10,000 [€2,365]. The interest rate varies depending on the number of instalments, from 1 to 20 percent. During the holiday season, contributors can take out a loan of up to RON 300 [€70] interest-free," said a representative of the Videle CAR.

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