11th Annual Debt-Free Day will Take Place in the Czech Republic
Ukrainian citizens can receive free assistance. Photo credit: KURK Ceska a Slovenska republika s.r.o.
Czech Republic, 25 Oct (BD) – The 11th annual Debt-Free Day will take place in the Czech Republic in November. Citizens who are struggling with debt repayments and need advice can use the free phone line 800 700 880 throughout the month of November or ask their questions via the website www.nasedluhy.cz. At the same time, members of the public can ask expert advisers for a free extract from the Central Register of Debt Collections, i.e., information on whether there is currently a debt collection order against them.
The organiser of the Debt-Free Day is KRUK Czech and Slovak Republic (KRUK), which focuses on debt management for financial institutions and corporate customers. For many years, the main partner of the event has been the Czech Labour Office. KRUK organised the first Debt-Free Day in Poland 14 years ago, and the project has gradually expanded to Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
This year, the experts will also be offering free help to citizens of Ukraine who need advice on how to organise their finances in the Czech Republic, what expenses they may encounter in connection with children or housing, and what to watch out for when borrowing money. The aim of this assistance is to increase financial literacy with regard to their stay in the Czech Republic.
“This is the third year that the kolikmam.cz portal has cooperated with the Debt-Free Day educational event. Citizens can get an overview of their financial obligations, their creditworthiness and how their creditors—banks and non-bank institutions—view them on the portal,” said Romana Knyblová, project manager of the kolikmam.cz portal. “Within the framework of the Debt-Free Day, applicants can find out whether there are any debt collection orders against them, or if there are multiple, details of individual debts.”
“After the pandemic measures, when many people’s incomes dropped and their ability to pay their debts was reduced, inflation and energy prices rose,” said Jaroslava Palendalová, CEO of KRUK. “In response to these conditions, many households have started to save more and cut back on activities that are not strictly necessary. However, there is still a large percentage of people who do not know how to proceed, how to make a specific plan, where to cut back on spending, how to find another source of income, or how to spread commitments over a longer period of time. It is our advisers who can help with step-by-step planning in free consultations throughout November.”
The Czech Labour Office is involved in the project to increase the financial literacy of its clients. “Financial literacy is part of a number of projects designed for specific groups of job seekers,” said CEO Viktor Najmon. “In these, they learn how to manage their money optimally without taking on any debt with bad loans. It is a way of avoiding ending up in a debt trap, or of getting out of one. In connection with the energy crisis, we try to help clients as much as possible. We also work closely with a number of non-governmental, non-profit organisations or debt counselling centres in this respect. The Labour Office also participates in activities such as the Summer of Grace. Debt-Free Day is another important opportunity to help clients avoid getting into financial trouble.”
KRUK’s analysis shows that the average amount of debt owed by Czech debtors in 2022 is CZK 29,500, while in 2021 the average amount of debt was CZK 26,100. It is still the case that men borrow more often and in greater amounts (men are 57% of debtors, with an average debt of nearly CZK 32,200). Again, most borrowers come from the Moravian-Silesian region, almost 16% of the total in the country, with an average debt of CZK 27,600. On average, the highest debts are owed by debtors from Prague (CZK 35,500), who make up 7% of all debtors in the Czech Republic. KRUK’s analysis shows that after five years of a decreasing average debt, there has been a sharp increase of CZK 3,400 year-on-year.