Household loans extended by South Korean financial institutions grew at a faster pace in August than in the previous month on a seasonal factor, the central bank said Monday. Outstanding household lending by local banks and non-bank institutions totaled a record 670.8 trillion won (US$626.7 billion) as of end-August, up 3.3 trillion won from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The August monthly gain compared with a 1.1 trillion won on-month increase in July. The BOK said that the loan growth accelerated in August mainly because more people took out credit loans to cover spending for summer vacations. Depository institutions\' housing loans grew by 1.2 trillion won on-month to 408.4 trillion won. Credit lending extended by such institutions gained 2.1 trillion won in August, also picking up from 900 billion won in July. Local banks\' household loans rose 1.8 trillion won on-month to 472.6 trillion won, the central bank said. The data came as BOK policymakers are to hold their monthly rate-setting session on Thursday. Analysts said that the BOK is widely expected to freeze the key interest rate at 2.5 percent for the fifth straight month. South Korean policymakers are struggling to curb growing household debt as the private sector\'s high indebtedness is feared to crimp domestic demand, hurting economic growth. Korea\'s household credit rose to a fresh record high of 980 trillion won as of end-June.