Chennai women top list: Smartcoin
About 20% more millennials borrowed to meet COVID-19 related emergency healthcare expenses and other financial commitments during April compared with a year earlier, according to Smartcoin Financials, which analysed data generated by its lending app.
Millennials — those in the age group of 25-40 years — are on average taking loans of ₹6,000 and the loan demand has peaked exponentially in small towns and rural regions in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19. Demand for loans had surged in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities during the first wave as well.
South tops repeat loans
Stating that people were borrowing to meet unprecedented financial needs, the company said among repeat loan applicants, 29% came from the five south Indian States — Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana — which accounted for about 35% of the total loan value credited.
“We have managed to stand our ground during this pandemic and continue to provide valuable financial reprieve and loan packages to those who need it most,” said Rohit Garg, co-founder and CEO, SmartCoin.
“Riding on our industry knowledge and ability to gauge customer preferences across every demographic, we have managed to address a plethora of credit needs across the entire expanse of the country, especially the southern States that reflect higher levels of financial literacy and awareness,” he added.
The company serves more than 17,000 pincodes across India. It has a loan book of ₹500 crore and has disbursed in excess of three lakh loans to more than one lakh borrowers.
The April 2021 loan count analysed by the firm showed Tamil Nadu’s contribution was highest at 9%, and has gone up to 10% so far in May, indicating a demand surge.
Lack of insurance cover
The number of women borrowers in Chennai were found to be higher at 15%, as compared with 9% in the rest of India.
Medical/hospital needs took up the largest chunk, 22%, among reasons indicated for availing of a loan in April, followed by bill payment (9%), house rent (7%), education fees (7%) and EMI payments (7%). Overall national figures reflected a similar order of priority for availing of loans.
Currently, the need is to address the increasing requirement of payments by the working class that is not covered under insurance plans, the firm said.
In the pre-COVID period, the demand for loans intended for medical requirements were at 18% and in August-September 2020 the number went up to 28%.
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