Wednesday, February 28, 2024
HomeBusinessConsumer debt

Consumer debt

In economicsconsumer debt is the amount owed by consumers (as opposed to amounts owed by businesses or governments). It includes debts incurred on purchase of goods that are consumable and/or do not appreciate. In macroeconomic terms, it is debt which is used to fund consumption rather than investment.

The most common forms of consumer debt are credit card debtpayday loans, student loans and other consumer finance, which are often at higher interest rates than long-term secured loans, such as mortgages.

Long-term consumer debt is often considered fiscally suboptimal. While some consumer items such as automobiles may be marketed as having high levels of utility that justify incurring short-term debt, most consumer goods are not. For example, incurring high-interest consumer debt through buying a big-screen television “now”, rather than saving for it, cannot usually be financially justified by the subjective benefits of having the television early.

In many countries, the ease with which individuals can accumulate consumer debt beyond their means to repay has precipitated a growth industry in debt consolidation and credit counseling. The ease of accumulating debt so easily has made it harder to repay these incurrences which leads to lower credit score and has links to mental health.

The amount of debt outstanding versus the consumer’s disposable income is expressed as the consumer leverage ratio. On a monthly basis, this debt ratio is advised to be no more than 20 percent of an individual’s take-home pay. The interest rate charged depends on a range of factors, including the economic climate, perceived ability of the customer to repay, competitive pressures from other lenders, and the inherent structure and security of the credit product. Rates generally range from 0.25 percent above base rate, to well into double figures. Consumer debt is also associated with predatory lending, although there is much debate as to what exactly constitutes predatory lending.

In recent years, an alternative analysis might view consumer debt as a way to increase domestic production, on the grounds that if credit is easily available, the increased demand for consumer goods should cause an increase of overall domestic production. The permanent income hypothesis suggests that consumers take debt to smooth consumption throughout their lives, borrowing to finance expenditures (particularly housing and schooling) earlier in their lives and paying down debt during higher-earning periods.

Personal debt is on the rise, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, according to the US Federal Reserve, the US household debt service ratio is at the lowest level since its peak in the Fall of 2007.

Debt-to-GDP ratio, consumer leverage ratio

A country’s private debt can be measured as a ‘debt-to-GDP ratio‘, which is the total outstanding private debt of its residents divided by that nation’s annual GDP. A variant is the consumer leverage ratio, which is the ratio of debt to personal income.

Follow us on Twitter. Send us a secure tip

- A word from our sponsors -

Most Popular

Previous article
Next article

More from Author

KUPPET Questions Government Directive For Parents To Pay Schools Fees E-Citizen Platform

KUPPET opposes the Government directive for parents to use eCitizen platform to pay...

List of The best AC Repair Companies in Nairobi, Kenya

List of The best AC Repair Companies in Nairobi, Kenya. Air...

LIST OF PROGRAMMES OFFERED AT KAIMOSI FRIENDS UNIVERSITY

LIST OF PROGRAMMES OFFERED AT KAIMOSI FRIENDS UNIVERSITY. Kaimosi Friends University...

- A word from our sponsors -

Bridging Cultures, Building Futures: The Kiige and Emmanuel Initiative for Immigrant Empowerment in Canada

In the heart of Canada's multicultural landscape, Duncan Kiige and Emmanuel, both celebrated public speakers with immigrant backgrounds, have become symbols of hope and transformation for new immigrants. Their recent conference on career and personal development marked a significant milestone in their mission to empower newcomers with...

UGANDAN FIRST LADY AMAZED BY HAMZ NAKIVUBO STADIUM DEVELOPMENT WORKS BY HAMIS KIGGUNDU.

The NRM government is very proud to see the example of our young people begin to build Uganda by putting up projects such as this one. We congratulate Ham Kiggundu for this excellent jobKAMPALA UGANDA| As sports lovers countdown to 2027 when the Nakivubo-based Hamz Stadium will...

Raila’s search for a post with the AU Commission could be a suitable trapdoor or departure.

In Kenyan politics, Raila Odinga has long been a mystery. His international performance? Even when the African Union designated him, he remained debatable.But he said on Thursday that he would run for the position of Chairperson of the African Union Commission. One diplomat tampered with his first...

Court Finds Jowie Irungu Guilty of Monica Kimani’s Murder

In a landmark ruling, Justice Grace Nzioka declared Jowie Irungu guilty of the murder of Monica Kimani. According to Justice Nzioka, the evidence presented convincingly establishes Jowie's culpability in the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.Highlighting the sequence of events, Justice Nzioka outlined how Jowie, armed with a...

KUPPET Questions Government Directive For Parents To Pay Schools Fees E-Citizen Platform

KUPPET opposes the Government directive for parents to use eCitizen platform to pay school fees calls for clear public participation, legislation and policy framework.KUPPET national officials have opposed the move by Government to force parents to use eCitizen platform to pay school fees saying it will be difficult for...

List of best Audiology Services in Nairobi, Kenya

List of best Audiology Services in Nairobi, Kenya. The word audiology is made up of two roots: Audio and Logy. ‘Audio’ refers to ‘hear’ and ‘logy’ to ‘the study of’. In essence, audiology is the study of hearing - as the inner ear is also required...