As for it affecting expat's in Chile's ability to get accounts, I don't think it even makes a statistical blip on the banking systems radar screen compared to just a couple countries. The Peruvians, Bolivians, Colombians, etc have been coming to Chile for decades, obtaining residency, maxing their credit, and running away.
There were reports a few years ago about organized Bolivian gangs coming over the boarder, using false names and documents to obtain residency, maxing their credit, then running away. They would return a little later, with a different set of immigration documents, and do it all over again with another name.
The real culprit for all of that is the banks in Chile. There is no good reason to attach millions of pesos of credit to basic savings or checking accounts. If the banks pulled their heads out of their rear, and joined even 19th century international banking practices, they would not be loosing money to people that can not afford to pay back their debts. Even more, they would probably have a whole lot more people that need basic banking, start with a simple account, and then apply for credit.
I went to the ATM yesterday to take out some spending cash. I have to stand there waiting while they tried to give me a 6 million peso consumer credit loan on the screen. I had ZERO pesos in my account. My wife regularly cleans out my account, to use the money for other things. Occasional she leaves me some spending money. Guess what? I was still able to take $40,000 pesos out, go buy gas, go buy some other things, with my account that had 0 pesos, without even taking the consumer loan they were pushing. Because there is a credit facility attached to my account that allows me to overdraw, and it is automatically paid. Works just like a credit card. Even a plane jane debit card in Chile, is really a credit card. Of course, I told my wife she needs to put some money back in my account when I got home, but who offers $10,000 U.S. to someone with no money in their account?
That is the game. The banks want you to stress your financial situation. They don't want you to be able to easily pay your bills. If I deposit say 10 million pesos in my account each month, they will offer me 50 or 60 million in consumer credit at the stupid ATM. They are playing the impulse buy game, and they know Chileans are really bad at resisting that. They do everything in their power, to get you to leverage up beyond your means. The interest rates are like 23% or some ridiculous rate on those consumer loans.
I am public enemy number one as far as the bank bean counters are concerned and the same logic of people being "bad people" for not paying their debts.
I pay cash for everything. Every loan, mortgage, or other credit I have ever taken in Chile, I have paid off way, way in advance. I took a 15 year mortgage, and paid it off in 6 months (long story). I don't even have a valid credit card. I keep ordering credit cards, and forgetting to pick them up at the bank. I think I am on my third set of cards that expired in a drawer. My last set I had in had was like 5 years ago, and they expired unused because I forgot my pin from lack of use.
But, to the accountants, I am the sucker that is robbing them of their interest payments, fees, penalties, etc. They would like nothing more than to trick me in to taking way more than my annual income can support, so they can really turn those interest rate screws and penalties.
The banks all over the world penalize people's credit reports for being a good credit risk and paying off their debts early.
I am waiting for the new Fintech industry to put all these old school banks down (even if that kills my stock investment a bit). They are all 19th century. Most should not even exist anymore.
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