Consumer Debt

November 15, 1996 • Volume 6, Issue 43
Do Americans buy too much on credit?
By Richard L. Worsnop


In the weeks ahead, millions of consumers will use credit cards to charge their holiday gifts, possibly pushing consumer debt to unprecedented heights. The prospect of new debt levels disturbs some economists, who note that delinquent credit card accounts and personal bankruptcies already have reached historic highs. Others contend that personal indebtedness waxes and wanes over time, and that the cycle tends to be self-correcting. Some experts worry that in the years ahead, consumer debt will continue to rise as card issuers use sophisticated marketing techniques to put cards in the hands of students and consumers of limited means. They also predict that the increasing use of credit cards in such non-traditional venues as supermarkets and doctors' offices will further increase the debt load.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Credit and Consumer Debt
Jul. 20, 2012  Debt Collectors
May 17, 2011  Future of the Euro
Oct. 10, 2008  Regulating Credit Cards
May 09, 2008  Financial Crisis
Mar. 02, 2007  Consumer Debt
May 26, 2006  Teen Spending
Nov. 19, 1999  The Consumer Culture
Nov. 15, 1996  Consumer Debt
Sep. 13, 1985  America in Debt
Jan. 25, 1980  Consumer Debt
Apr. 11, 1975  Consumer Credit Economy
Jan. 12, 1972  Directions of the Consumer Movement
Nov. 10, 1965  Personal Debt in a Consumer Economy
Jan. 02, 1957  Tight Credit
Feb. 10, 1956  Consumer Credit
Mar. 30, 1949  Installment Credit
Aug. 09, 1941  Restriction of Consumer Credit
Jan. 28, 1941  The Big Business of Making Small Loans
Jan. 17, 1934  Federal Credit Aid for Consumers
Jan. 01, 1930  Installment Buying, 1920–1930
Consumer Behavior
Consumer Credit and Debt
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics