A campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of taking out quick SMS loans seems to be getting through. Photo:Henrik Montgomery

More pay SMS loans on time

Kronofogden, the Swedish Enforcement Agency, has announced that a widespread campaign warning teenagers of the dangers of taking out quick SMS text loans has proved successful with the debt collectors declaring a 40 percent drop in the number of unpaid SMS loans last year.

Sweden first allowed SMS instant loans in the spring of 2006 and they were immediately popular amongst teenagers, who could borrow a maximum of 3000 kronor (456 dollars) within 15 minutes without having to provide more than an identification code and bank account number.

Customers have to pay back the loans within a short period and face high interest rates. In 2009,Swedish debt collectors noted a 30 percent increase in people reported for being unable to pay their SMS loans. Those 46,531 people were mostly teenagers or in their 20's.

However, after a campaign launched in the media and a more regulated response from the government, the Swedish Enforcement Agency said on Tuesday that it handled 28,038 loan cases last year, compared to 46,531 in 2009.

Kronofogden also said that the percentage of young people taking out the loans had decreased but there were more older women finding themselves in debt.

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