Consumer Revolving Credit and Debt Over the Life Cycle and Business Cycle

56 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2016

See all articles by Scott Fulford

Scott Fulford

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Scott D. Schuh

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - Research Department

Date Written: 2015-10-01

Abstract

Despite the centrality of credit and debt in the financial lives of Americans, little is known about how U.S. consumers' access and utilization of credit changes in the short and long term, and how these changes are related to changes in U.S. consumers' debt. This paper uses data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), which contains a 5 percent sample of every credit account in the United States from 1999 to 2014 from the credit reporting agency Equifax. It examines how changing credit availability, debt, and utilization over the business cycle and the life cycle and across individuals relate to U.S. consumers' patterns of incurring, carrying, and paying off their debts. Much of this paper focuses on credit cards, since these have observable limits and are widely held, but the paper also briefly examines other forms of debt over the consumer life cycle.

JEL Classification: D14, D91, E21

Suggested Citation

Fulford, Scott and Schuh, Scott, Consumer Revolving Credit and Debt Over the Life Cycle and Business Cycle (2015-10-01). FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 15-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2723809

Scott Fulford (Contact Author)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( email )

United States

Scott Schuh

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - Research Department ( email )

600 Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
United States
617-973-3941 (Phone)
617-619-7541 (Fax)

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