SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's household debt hit a fresh record high in the third quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for credit loan amid the record-low policy rate, central bank data showed Tuesday.
Household credit amounted to 1,682.1 trillion won (1.5 trillion U.S. dollars) as of the end of September, marking the highest since data began to be compiled in the fourth quarter of 2002, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It was up 44.9 trillion won from three months earlier, posting the second-biggest quarterly increase.
The household credit refers to debt, owed by households to banks, insurers and other financial institutions, as well as purchase on credit.
Mortgage loan expanded 17.4 trillion won from three months earlier to 890.4 trillion won at the end of September.
It was the biggest quarterly expansion since the fourth quarter of 2016 due to the record-low borrowing cost.
The BOK cut its target rate by 25 basis points to an all-time low of 0.50 percent in May, after slashing it by 50 basis points in March.
Other credit, including credit loan, jumped 22.1 trillion won to 695.2 trillion won in the cited period.
It was the biggest quarterly growth, more than doubling the second-quarter increase of 9.4 trillion won as households rushed to borrow money amid an economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purchase on credit grew 5.4 trillion won to 96.6 trillion won in the July-September quarter. (1 U.S. dollar equals 1,111.45 South Korean won)