The Payment Cards Center provides meaningful insights into developments in consumer credit and payments that are of interest not only to the Federal Reserve but also to the industry, other businesses, academia, policymakers, and the public at large. The center carries out its work through an agenda of research and analysis as well as forums and conferences that encourage dialogue incorporating industry, academic, and public-sector perspectives.
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For information on all research on consumer credit and payments, go to our Program in Consumer Credit & Payments page.
The statistics are divided into a Consumer Credit Snapshot and a Consumer Payments Snapshot. They are derived from various sources including the Federal Reserve Payments Study (various years), the Federal Reserve Consumer Credit — G.19, and Federal Reserve Financial Accounts of the United States — Z.1.
Visiting Scholar Working Paper Revised: Debt Collection Agencies and the Supply of Consumer Credit
The author examines contract enforcement in consumer credit markets by studying third-party debt collection. In order to identify the effect of debt collectors on credit supply, he constructs a state-level index of the tightness of debt collection laws. The author finds that stricter regulations of third-party debt collection lead to fewer openings of revolving lines of credit. This effect appears to be the result of lower recovery rates due to fewer debt collectors per capita when debt collection laws are tightened. Less stringent debt collection laws are associated with a larger and riskier pool of borrowers, consistent with the view that effective debt collection enables creditors to expand lending to new and risky borrowers.