How Credit Access has Changed over Time for U.S. Households

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The financial industry made a number of efforts throughout the 1990s to provide additional borrowing opportunities to households traditionally constrained by the credit markets. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), this study investigates the degree to which household liquidity constraints relaxed between 1983 and 1998. The gap between actual and desired borrowing is estimated. The findings indicate that the ability of all households to obtain their desired debt levels increased after 1983 and most dramatically between 1992 and 1998. The findings hold true across all households regardless of permanent earnings, age, gender, or race. Those experiencing the greatest gains in credit access were black households and households with low permanent earnings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-255
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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