Credit and debt: the PSI report

Authors: Richard Berthoud, Elaine Kempson
Published by: Policy Studies Institute
Publication date: 1992
Report number: PSI Research Report 728
ISBN: 0853744971

Three concerns dominated the debate about housing finances in the 1990s: the increasing gap between rich and poor; the rising use of consumer credit; and the growing number of households in debt. This landmark study provides evidence about:

  1. Spending commitments. The research focuses especially on the budgeting problems faced by families with resources unequal to their needs.
  2. Consumer credit. The report covers the complete range of credit, from bank loans to mail order instalments and borrowing from family and friends. The use of different sources for different purposes is set in the context of household budgets, linking credit to the needs and resources of the family.
  3. Debt. The problem is examined in the light of households' budgeting habits and spending commitments, as well as their pattern of borrowing.

Credit and Debt discusses the key areas of social and commercial policy raised by the research. No single organisation is responsible for either credit or debt. Rather, the problems need to be addressed by all the different groups involved - government, the financial services industry, voluntary organisations and the general public. This book was produced to help all these sectors understand the issues - and implement measures to tackle the problems.

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