Student Loans, Consumer Loan | – We never had a credit card. We have no courage.

Student Loans, Consumer Loan |  – We never had a credit card.  We have no courage.

(Bergen Newspaper) – I receive NOK 9,400 per month as student aid. NOK 6,200 vanishes in rent for eight square meters including electricity. In addition, there is a mobile phone, training and public transport, so there is not much to live for, says physiotherapy student Leah Berg Nilsen (23).

Bergensavisen meets her in the canteen in the student center with her friend Maren Huseth Mortensen, 21, who studies at NHH. Now it's time to enter before the exam. On the table is an energy drink and two bags of Schnapps.

– Throughout the year, we are away, but after the exam, we go home and work. So, spending an extra hundred on Snap is not a big deal, students say, which gives them extra motivation.

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None of them have credit cards. It's an emotional choice.

– We don't have the courage. We don't want to be tempted to spend money we don't have. Our budget is currently underway. Everything goes to food and housing.

This is how they keep control of students' finances – read more below on the case.

Negative growth

In Bergen, consumer credit among young people has increased by 10.1 percent since August last year, according to Norwegian Credit Information.

On a national basis, the increase is nearly 15 percent.

More and more young people are facing financial worries and money problems. In the NHO's annual report, 72 percent said they were worried about the economy.

Nordea Bank manager Kettle Grants believes there is reason to take the development seriously.

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Stupid parents

– Being young has never been financially lucrative, I remember growing up and studying here in the city. But as tough as it is now, with increased interest rates and increased costs, I can't remember when it was, says Grants.


Many young people lack financial literacy.

– Money has become digitized and more compact. Now that mobile banking is all about numbers, you may realize that you don't have five notes in your pocket. When money is used now, it can always get more. Perhaps with whips from parents or a loving grandmother, she notes.

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Through the Økonomipeil project, Nordea employees talk to 7,000 young people every year about personal finance:

  • How to set a budget
  • How much does it cost to get a loan?
  • What will daily habits cost in a year?
  • How to save smart.

– Talk to the youth

Kettle Grants believes that parents should be more involved and monitor their youngsters more closely.

– Mainly talk to the youth about finance. It's good to be helpful and kind, but it's better to provide a fixed amount that young people need to manage over time. If it's never empty, bad habits form quickly, Grants says.


Bank Manager: This is how parents can help

  • Set boundaries: Don't be a 24-hour mobile bank for your kids. Good habits develop over time. It's nice to help, but it's a better idea to let the youth set aside a certain amount themselves and prioritize it over a period of time.
  • Get an overview: We often see people with debt problems hiding or not wanting to see their bills. Getting an overview is crucial. Many banks can offer children the opportunity to log into their own mobile bank so that they can monitor how their money is being spent.
  • Don't get angry: Trust is important. It's better to find out about issues that arise than to hide them for fear of a nasty argument. When it comes to finance, failure is a good learning experience, even if it is a costly experience.
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Source: Nordea

Students Leah Berg Nilssen from Vikersund and Maren Huseth Mortensen from Frosta share a flat in Bergen. They are determined not to spend more money than they have.

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– I work the whole summer vacation and only ask my parents for help if I really need it. A thousand to me is a lot of money and enough for many expenses. We will receive NOK 900 in increased inspection support in the autumn, but expect rent to rise accordingly, says Maren.

Here are some saving tricks of students:

  • Have a joint dinner.
  • Prepares food (cookers) for several days in a row: casseroles, pasta, canned food and wok.
  • Do not buy food in the student canteen, but always bring a packed lunch.
  • Bake your own bread.
  • Try to have a buffer account for unexpected expenses.
  • Avoid overspending on weekend entertainment and expensive entertainment.
  • Work during summer holidays.

Credit card debt is on the rise

In April alone, Norwegians' total unsecured consumer debt increased by NOK 1.5 billion. We now owe a total of NOK 163.1 billion.

– Many people have apparently postponed paying credit card bills or taken out consumer loans to meet the needs after Easter. We can hope that this is a temporary phenomenon, so we avoid more people having payment challenges, says Egil Ã…rrestad at Gjeldsregisteret AS.

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Over the past four years, Bergen has been below the national average in terms of total consumer debt, but the trend reversed in 2023 after three years of decline.

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This suggests that more Bergen residents are putting off paying their credit card invoices.

– For the most part, reductions in consumer debt occur only when home interest rates and prices fall, so households can afford better and prioritize paying down interest-bearing consumer debt, Arestad says.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

"Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru."

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