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Business

Germans Repay Debt Despite Economic Woes

Germany's economic downturn and high unemployment levels have not led to a significant increase in people defaulting on their credit payments, according to a study released by SCHUFA, Germany's official credit rating agency. But the report notes that young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 run a higher risk of falling behind in payments. Researchers also found that debt from cell phone and other telecommunications bills is increasingly becoming a problem: In 1999, only 17 percent of all debt troubles came from unpaid cell phone bills. By 2002, that number had risen to 39 percent. During the same time, however, the number of cell phone users in Germany also jumped from 23 to 60 million.