Consumer Credit & the Indian Middle Class
Banks went too far, analysts say, issuing cards indiscriminately to people in rural areas and lower-income groups without regular salaries. The number of credit cards in India, while still only a fraction of the population, has more than tripled in the past five years, to almost 30 million. In the year ended March 31, Indians charged more than $14 billion on their cards, more than three times the amount charged four years earlier.
The amount of unsecured loans and credit-card receivables more than three months overdue is about 7% to 9% of total loans outstanding this year, and is about to head as high as 15%, according to ratings agency Crisil Ltd. in Mumbai.