Swedish household debt is threatening the economy

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Swedish consumers share many of the same financial behaviors as Americans and Canadians. Saving money is very important to Swedish consumers. The Balance posted a financial report on January 13, 2020, revealing the average household savings account balance is $4,500. Unfortunately, this number only applies to a small percentage of American households. The Swedish government provides its citizens with plenty of saving opportunities when tax time comes around. Below, you will discover what financial analysts are saying about the Swedish economy.

Education Expenses

Unlike the American educational system, the Swedish educational system is free to all citizens. This is a great way to save money. Just imagine, no student debt to haunt you after graduation. This is only a dream for most people. But, in Sweden, it is a fact of life.

A report released in February 2018 revealed that student debt in American was almost $1.5 trillion. The report also showed that more than 44 million people living in the United States owed were paying off student loans.

With the coronavirus in full-force, Americans are struggling with their student loans. President Donald Trump released a statement in October 2020 that he was giving American consumers who owed student debt loans a break. The announcement was a relief to many student loan borrowers because it would mean no payments until 2021. This would give these consumers a four-month break from their student debt.

Anxiety Intensifies Around Income Tax Time

When April rolls around each year, American business owners, workers, and others grow very anxious. This is the American deadline for income taxes. All taxpayers must submit their tax forms on or before April 15, or face monetary penalties. This is a very trying time because many American taxpayers struggle to pay their bills from month to month.

The Swedish government is one step ahead of the American government when it comes to income tax preparation. Instead of sending extensive uncompleted tax return documents to taxpayers, the Swedish government sends out tax forms that are virtually completed.

This alone decreases stress related to income tax filing. American top tax services, such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and TurboTax, earn billions for working only four months out of a year. While this is only a metaphor, it is true American tax services work harder January through April than any other time.

Taxpayers who are due refunds will be the first to fill out and submit their tax returns. These taxpayers utilize their refund to purchase vehicles, catch up on their mortgage, and pay off holiday debt.

With this said, many Swedes are very wasteful. Instead of paying off debt or playing catch-up, they spend their tax refunds on toys, clothes, shoes, takeout, and other non-essential items. It’s also very common that expenses like these are getting funded with so-called “blancolån”, which is a form of high interest rate loans you can apply for online.

Conclusion

The Swedish housing market isn't much different than the American and Canadian housing markets. They both have experienced drastic increases over the past few years. The risk of a housing market crash is looming over the country right now. A recent report showed most Swedish lending is associated with the housing market. If Swedes cannot afford to pay their mortgage, they will be forced into foreclosure.