Personal Debt in a Consumer Economy

Archive Report

Consumer Credit and Economic Stability

Concern Over Rapid Growth of Personal Debt

Buy Now, Pay later has become a way of life for many American families. Readiness of consumers to assume a heavy burden of debt and of lenders to advance easy credit is helping to fuel the long, uninterrupted period of business expansion that is now well into its fifth year. Yet some observers fear that the acceleration of personal debt has become so rapid that it may threaten both the individual borrower and the soundness of the over-all economy.

Quality as well as quantity of credit is in question as retailers and lending institutions induce more and more consumers to go into debt on a wide range of goods and services. Will more purchases made ...

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