What is wear? Here’s how to recognize it

It can change scenery and main actors, but the plot is (almost) always the same. It is about usury , an evil rooted in society for many years. But the solutions for not being overwhelmed exist .

Wear is a very, very old phenomenon.

Suffice it to say that hints related to this practice are contained in some Indian texts dating back to 2000 BC: it has accompanied the history of man from its origins to the present day, but its physiognomy is still elusive and unclear.

Wear: definition

Usury is the offense that commits a person who grants a loan to a person asking for it to be returned at an illegitimate interest rate because it is higher than the so-called “threshold rate”.

The threshold rate is established every three months by the Bank of Italy and varies according to the type of loan and the amount class . We look at the usury rates of personal loans, finalized loans, revolving credits and fixed-rate mortgages for the October-December 2017 quarter, calculated for the entire distribution:


Personal credits more than 16.78%
Finalized credit more than 16.05%
Revolving credit more than 24.15%
Fixed rate mortgages more than 7.63%

If you want to know the threshold rates of all types of financing for the period from 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017, please refer to this statement from the Bank of Italy .

The quarterly report of the Bank of Italy is a valid tool for understanding when the interests granted by an authorized institution (banks, financial institutions, private loan platforms) are to be considered usurious.

A constantly changing phenomenon

Once upon a time, those who turned to the usurers were mostly small businessmen in difficulty, gamblers and desperate people . With the economic crisis, the phenomenon has unfortunately also extended to the average Italian family : it often happens that financing contracts are entered into with financial companies for small amounts but with such high rates, which over time lead to a condition of over-indebtedness not more sustainable.

But how widespread is the wear and tear in Italy today? According to data provided by the Department of Public Security of the Ministry of the Interior, which analyzed all the complaints that were presented in 2016, while in the last year the wear and tear has certainly increased significantly, but the complaints remain a phenomenon unfortunately very limited (only 408 cases a year).

  The data, however, does not help to establish the real extent of the phenomenon: many victims of usury are reluctant to report, and this prevents us from defining with greater precision the impact of this economic and social scourge.

What is certain is that usury is spreading like wildfire throughout Italy: the southern regions and the islands continue to be the most exposed, but there has been a worrying increase in the phenomenon at the Center (with Parma at first place among the provinces most at risk) and also in the North, according to data collected and analyzed by Eurispes .

Protect yourself from wear? You can: here’s how

Here are some tips to protect yourself from wear:

When applying for a loan, contact only banks or authorized financial companies . The lists are available at the branches of the Bank of Italy.

1. When applying for a loan, only contact banks or authorized financial companies. The lists are available at the branches of the Bank of Italy.

2. Check the contract carefully, paying attention to the conditions of the loan, the contractual clauses and the applied interest rates. If you have doubts, contact a specialized association.

3. Remember that usury is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment from two to ten years and a fine of € 5,000 to € 30,000; if the banks or financial corporations are to commit the crime, the penalty can be increased by a third to a half. Always report when you realize you have been wrongdoing: it’s the only way to protect yourself.