Author James A. Roberts notes that consumers are in trouble because they have so many debt instruments. The average American consumer will have a total of thirteen credit obligations on record.
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What is the nature of these obligations?
They usually involve an average of nine credit cards. These include store and gas cards.
Consumers also carry an average of three installment loans which, especially include car loans and student loans.
The most common and costly credit obligation is tied to home mortgages. From 2000-2008, mortgage debt grew from $6.9 trillion to $14.6 trillion – roughly a 110-percent increase.
(Taken from James A. Roberts, Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy, New York: HarperOne, 2011, p. 114.)