Household debt continues to increase, nears 15 trillion baht


Thailand’s household debt reached 14.9 trillion baht in the fourth quarter of last year, as bad debts doubled due to the Covid-19 crisis, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

Household debt increased by 3.9% in the fourth quarter, compared to 3.5% in the third quarter, the highest since the third quarter of 2021. This was due to recoveries in the national economy and the domestic labour market, the agency said on Thursday.

NESDC secretary-general Danucha Pichayanan said that Thailand’s household debts accounted for 86.8% of GDP, down from 88.1% in the third quarter.

He said that many good debtors were left unable to repay their debts due to Covid-19. And even though the pandemic situation was improving, there are still a massive amount of bad debts among this group of people.

Bad debts caused by previously good debtors stood at about 400 billion baht in the last quarter, up almost two times from the first quarter of last year. This involved about 4.7 million debtor accounts – almost 60% of them were personal debts.

Household debt continues to increase, nears 15 trillion baht

Household debts increased for all types of loan in the last quarter. Personal loans and credit-card loans saw the highest increases of 21.4% and 11.8%, respectively.

Danucha pointed out that several low-income families often borrowed from personal loan providers that required no surety, which contributed to the increase in household debt.

Meanwhile, Thai commercial banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs) stood at 140 billion baht in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 2.3% in the same period a year earlier. That accounted for 2.6% of the total loan amount.

“Those aged under 30 years are the largest NPL group among credit-card holders. Debtors aged 60 years and above have the highest increase in NPLs in personal loans; the average bad debt per person is as high as 77,942 baht,” Danucha said.