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Dunamu Next Dream initiative helps youth deal better with money

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Participants of the Dunamu Next Dream initiative share their experiences during an event in Myeong-dong, Jung District, Seoul, in May. Courtesy of Dunamu

Participants of the Dunamu Next Dream initiative share their experiences during an event in Myeong-dong, Jung District, Seoul, in May. Courtesy of Dunamu

By Lee Kyung-min

Dunamu, the operator of Korea's leading crypto exchange Upbit, helped at least 300 young delinquent borrowers with debt redemption, living expenses and emergency loans without interest last year, according to the digital asset service provider, Tuesday.

The Dunamu Next Dream initiative was established in September 2022 with the aim of rehabilitating underprivileged youths who have been neglected by the current government's welfare program.

The crypto exchange operator said the initiative led young people, who are paying back loans, to see a drop to about 400,000 won ($290) in their repayments, down from about 2 million won.

The group's average delinquency rate also fell to 0.69 from 1.89. The increase in their income from work or business activities, which is essential for their financial independence, averaged 780,000 won for the 20 to 29 age group and 310,000 won for the 30 to 39 age group.

Dunamu held a conference to share the success of the initiative in Myeong-dong, Jung District, Seoul, in May.

Among the participants were partial debt relief recipients of the program, financial consultants, the crypto exchange and Dunamu-affiliated organizations.

A participant said the initiative changed their attitude toward life.

"I came upon Dunamu Next Dream when I was losing motivation and the meaning of life since my income was barely enough to support my family," the participant said.

"However, I feel my attitude about the future has changed for the better, not to mention my financial situation. I want to live with confidence, taking control of my own life from now on. I will help others along the way to create a virtuous cycle."

A financial consultant participating in the event said the experience was highly rewarding.

"I was glad to see many recipients open up and change. Dunamu Next Dream has provided financial and non-financial support to young people with humble backgrounds. Its significant impact will be remembered by financial consultants and the young adults."

Data from the Seoul Financial Welfare Counseling Center showed the debt of 1,499 youths aged 29 and under who finished a financial education course at the center averaged 71 million won. Over 17 percent of the total had debts of at least 100 million won.

Lee Kyung-min lkm@koreatimes.co.kr


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