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Loans become a 'lifeline' for many Jordanians — sociologist

By Maria Weldali - Oct 25,2021 - Last updated at Oct 25,2021

A man is seen withdrawing money from an ATM in Amman in this file photo (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Loans have become a lifeline for many Jordanians, especially after the pandemic, according to a sociologist.

According to the 2017-2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey, 43 per cent of individuals working in the public and private sectors in Jordan have taken "a loan from a bank", sociologist Hussein Khozahe told The Jordan Times in a phone interview on Monday.

An increasing number of Jordanians have taken out loans to pay down existing debts, handle financial hardships and cover unplanned emergencies, he said.

“The spike in unemployment and poverty rates has increased the number of people applying for loans,” Khozahe said. The survey shows that 40 per cent of Jordanian household income goes to paying off debts.

“The negative side of loans is that it might take some time to attain financial freedom again and that is really tiring,” said Nesreen Ahmad, a Jordanian working mother of three who took out a loan from her bank to buy her and her family an apartment in Amman.

Ahmad told The Jordan Times that if she had never received the loan, she would have never been able to buy her own house.

According to the Department of Statistics (DoS), unemployment rates among youth reached 53.7 per cent, while the general unemployment rate reached 24.8 per cent during the second quarter of 2021.

Abu Faisal, a Jordanian citizen who just had his first baby, told The Jordan Times: “I had to borrow money from a friend to pay for the hospital expenses."

He added that most of his friends either took out loans or their families helped them when they got married.

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