Korea eyes additional measures to curb household debt: finance chief

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Korea eyes additional measures to curb household debt: finance chief

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday the government will explore additional measures to curb household debt, including tighter lending rules at non-banking institutions, if needed.
Hong said the country will seek to minimize the impact of lending regulations on people who try to take out loans to find houses on lease.
"The government plans to closely monitor the growth of household loans until it slows," Hong told a government meeting on the property market.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC), the financial regulator, is reviewing ways to further tighten rules on home-backed loans in a bid to slow the growth of household debt.'
Since July, the FSC has applied stricter lending calculations for mortgage loans, called the debt service ratio (DSR). The DSR measures how much a borrower has to pay in principal and interest payments in proportion to his or her yearly income.
Korea's housing prices have shown no signs of letting up as more people have taken out bank loans to buy homes in anticipation of higher prices despite a series of government restrictions.
Additional lending regulations are under review as people have flocked to non-banking institutions to borrow money to avoid stricter rules on bank loans.
In 2020, household debt grew 7.9 percent on-year. The regulator aims to bring the annual increase to below 6 percent this year and below 5 percent next year.
Households' high indebtedness has been cited as the main bugbear for the Korean economy. 
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