Young Consumers' Credit Based Lifestyles and Payment Problems

image of Young Consumers' Credit Based Lifestyles and Payment Problems


• Preface

• Summary

• Background and rationale of the study

• Complexity of young consumers’ credit-based lifestyles and payment problems

• Research setting and research questions

• Methods and materials

• Consumption practices and credit use as lifestyle factors

• Toward credit-based lifestyles

• Discussion and conclusion



Background and rationale of the study

The credit society began to gain a stronger foothold in the Nordic countries during the 1980s and 1990s (e.g. Poppe 1999; Muttilainen 2002; see also Ritzer 1995). Financial markets were liberated toward the end of the 1980s, and the credit pressure that had been established during market regulation grew more intense. Credit use among Nordic consumers, thus, was stimulated by the liberation of financial markets together with the introduction of new forms of consumer credit, and further by increasing well-being, growth of consumption, more leisure time and a higher level of income. All of these also contributed to emerging credit problems. Credit use transformed from something morally objectionable to an ordinary everyday practice. Credits began to grow into an integral part of the household economy, often for a whole lifetime. In sum, this development was the result of two key factors: the deregulation of financial markets and an extended possibility to be discharged of one’s debts (Muttilainen 2002, 70-83). Consumers’ credit practices changed in the course of the 1980s, leading to uncontrolled . By the end of the 1990s, debt problems had become a permanent element of the modern credit market, quite independently of the simultaneous economic recession (see e.g. Poppe 1999; Mutilainen 2002).


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