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Individuals' credit loans up in October

Credit loans extended by South Korea's five major banks rose slightly in October from a month earlier, data showed Thursday, as the government tightened mortgage lending rules.

The outstanding balance of credit loans by the five retail banks, including KB Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank, stood at 95.62 trillion won ($85.8 billion) at the end of October, up 1.77 trillion won from the end of September, according to the data from the financial industry.

The increase is the highest since 2016, according to the data.


Meanwhile, the outstanding balance of mortgages extended by the five retail banks came to 373.23 trillion won at the end of October, up 1.64 trillion won from the end of September, the data showed.

The growth in credit loans and mortgages came despite the government's measures to tighten rules for home mortgages to rein in growing household debt and curb property speculation.

South Korea's overall household debt came to 1,388.3 trillion won as of the end of June, up 10.4 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Bank of Korea.

In August, the government designated all 25 districts in Seoul and two cities -- Sejong and Gwacheon -- "overheated speculative districts" to try to rein in household debt. Sejong is an administrative city located 130 kilometers southeast of Seoul, and Gwacheon lies just south of the capital.

The government also reduced the loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios to 40 percent for home purchases in all the designated speculative and overheating speculative districts. This limits home buyers borrowing more than 40 percent of their property value and puts a maximum of 40 percent on the level of their income that can be used for mortgage payments. (Yonhap)