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Significant regional differences in the borrowing patterns of Swedes

Press release   •   Apr 13, 2017 11:23 CEST

Swedes are taking on larger consumer loans – in 2016 the average consumer loan increased by 19,1 percent compared to the previous year. This is shown in Zmarta Group’s report, that for the third year in row has mapped the Swedish market for consumer loans. This year the report also includes a regional comparison of the Swedes’ borrowing patterns, which shows significant variations between the different counties. Most loans are applied for in Stockholm and Västermanland’s county, while the people in Kalmar request the least amount of loans.

Today Zmarta Group, which offers consumer services within the bank and insurance industry, presents its review of the Swedish market for consumer loans during 2016. The report is based upon data from thousands of disbursed loans through Zmarta’s platform during the year 2016, and compares the figures with previous years. A similar report was also produced for the Norwegian market.

This year’s report highlights significant regional differences in the borrowing behavior of Swedes. In relation to its population, residents of Västmanland’s county are the most frequent borrowers, with 1.95 loans per 1,000 residents. On the other hand, the residents in Stockholm county borrowed the largest sums – in average Stockholmers borrowed 117,620 SEK, which is well above the national average. The least amount of money where borrowed by residents in Kalmar county, where the average loan sum was 71,380 SEK.

It is interesting how the borrowing pattern varies around the country. A common denominator for all counties is however that the sum for new loans has increased compared to 2015. A stable economy and increasing real wages has led to an increase in purchasing power which explain the strong development of the market for consumer loans. We expect the market of 2017 to follow suite,” said Mattias Hallgrim, CMO at Zmarta Group.

Counties with the largest consumer loans:
  1. Stockholm County, 117 610 kronor
  2. Kronobergs County, 100 252 kronor
  3. Jönköpings County, 99 566 kronor
  4. Hallands County, 98 850 kronor
  5. Uppsala County, 98 558 kronor
Counties with the smallest consumer loans:
  1. Kalmar County, 71 380 kronor
  2. Blekinge County, 76 174 kronor
  3. Gävleborg County, 77 071 kronor
  4. Värmlands County, 78 532 kronor
  5. Gotlands County, 79 268 kronor

Average consumer loans in 2016

The report indicates that both the amount of loans taken to collect different mortgages and loans under one house as well as consumer loans increased during 2016. On top of that, the Swedes are borrowing larger amounts; the national average for a consumer loan amounted to 97 474 SEK – compared to 81 840 SEK during 2015. Like 2015, the most common request was for a loan for a vehicle, which was closely followed by the request for a loan to finance a renovation. A large share of the loans that were distributed were loans taken with the purpose to gather and convert previous loans. During 2016, most such loans 2016 were withdrawn by Swedes in the ages 46-55. Conversion loans are less common among younger Swedes – only 2,7 percent of these loans are requested by Swedes in the ages 18-25.

“The amount of loans taken with the purpose to gather and convert existing loans increased during 2016, and were primarily requested by Swedes with a higher income. Such a loan could be a good alternative for borrowers looking to take control over their smaller loans and avoid unnecessary expensive credits,” states Mattias Hallgrim.

The report also shows differences in the borrowing patterns between men and women, where men requests consumer loans to a higher extent and borrows larger amounts. Young men in the ages between 18-35 requested consumer loans to a significantly larger extent than women in the same age group. To access more information about the Swedes’ borrowing patterns, divided by age, profession, income, and sex, please read the full report at:

For more information, please contact:
Mattias Hallgrim, Chief Marketing Officer, Zmarta Group
0709 18 87 41,


Zmarta Group offers a range of services within consumer finance. The group is comprised of a range of brands including Zmarta, Freedom Finance and Centum. The company was founded in 1999, has 200 employees and offices in Stockholm, Ängelholm, Helsinki, Oslo and Munich. Zmarta Group is owned by Bauer Media Group.

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