Almost 10% of the 6m loans registered with the Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) are now at least a month in arrears – up from fewer than 1% in 2007, according to The Sunday Times.

The ICB maintains a database of payments on all loans ranging from consumer to small business loans from banks, mortgage lenders, credit-card companies, credit unions and hire-purchase firms.

“The credit bureau’s arrears figures provide a comprehensive overview of mounting problems with consumer debt, which many fear will result in a second wave of bad debts for the banks,” says the newspaper’s personal finance editor, Niall Brady.

The ICB is owned by the main financial institutions, which gives the organisation a comprehensive overview of the real levels of bad debt and poorly performing personal loans across all sectors of the economy.

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