A new European Consumer Payment Report, from debt collection specialist Intrum, has shown that parents are vulnerable to social pressure, forcing them to spend more money on their children than they can afford. Every third parent in Europe has experienced social pressure during the past year to buy something for their children that they feel they couldn’t afford. Most of them (87 %) have also acted on it and bought something due to that social pressure. This translates into 28 per cent of all parents, or roughly every fourth parent.

Intrum, the market leading credit management services company, has presented a new European Consumer Payment Report. This year Intrum has focused its analysis on the driving forces behind consumer overspending.

Mikael Ericson, CEO and president of Intrum “Our analysis demonstrates how a vulnerable group in society is exposed to a social pressure that can result in unsound, long-term indebtedness. With the many options of payment that exists today and the social pressure people report, we need to do more to create trust and teach every new generation how to consume in a sustainable way.”

The report reveals not only that every third parent feels exposed to social pressure to overspend, but also that young parents (aged 18 to 34) are especially vulnerable, with four out of ten (41 %) reporting that they feel the social pressure to overspend on their children.

Social media plays a key role in creating pressure on modern consumers, and not only parents or young people. Almost four out of ten (39 %) Europeans of all ages agree that social media creates a pressure to consume more than they should.

Related to the question of overspending, there is clear evidence that credit consumption is on a big rise. Intrum sees a dramatic increase in acceptance for buying on credit. Almost every third (31 %) European now think it is OK to buy goods such as TV or computers on credit, jumping up from barely a fifth (19 %) two years ago and 26 per cent last year.

Ericson continued “Being able to take on and give credit is a prerequisite for a growing society. At the same time, our analysis shows how important it is that the system, in which these credits are granted and taken from, works in favor of all parties involved.”

The full report can be viewed here.