EghtesadOnline: Bank Melli Iran lent 42.7 trillion ($170 million) rials in marriage loans to newlyweds in the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 20-August 21).
The loans were given to more than 80,000 applicants, according to a report on the BMI news portal.
Marriage loans are interest-free loans with 7-year maturity banks are obliged to grant.
BMI, which is the top lender in the country, paid more than 239,000 marriage loans worth 75.05 trillion rials ($450 million) in the last fiscal year that ended in March, indicating 45% rise compared to the previous year.
As per rules, couples can apply for the loans maximum up to two years after the pronouncement of their marriage.
Lenders have been told to prioritize the new couples over other loans. BMI said the bank is a pioneer in marriage loans accounting for 70% of the total paid by banks in this segment.
Over the years the amount of marriage loans has increased due largely to runaway inflation and steep decline in purchasing power.
The 30-million-rial loan five years ago has now grown to 500 million rials ($3,125) per partner in the current fiscal year. It had increased from the previous 150 to 300 million rials ($1,875) per spouse in the last fiscal year.
The government and relevant organizations have often voiced concern over the fast declining marriage rates and have been encouraging the youth to marry by offering financial incentives.
But this too has failed to convince the youth to tie the knot, and the marriage age keeps rising with fewer young people willing or able to start a family.