Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

American Households and Debt Use: Barriers to Successful Financial Management and Targeted Solutions

Household debt management in the United States has become an increasingly pressing issue for both policymakers and private sector leaders. However, there is little discussion around consumers who are not yet in financial distress but may be in jeopardy in the case of a small financial incident. This report explores the effects of debt on household financial management and narrows in on the “insecure borrower” demographic: borrowers who have debt, may not have defaulted yet, but are struggling to manage their debt and finances. The authors encourage stakeholders to ACT: Assemble more comprehensive data to gain a better understanding of debt’s true impact on household financial management, Collaborate with local governments and private employers to create small- and large-scale policy solutions, and Target strategies to specific barriers for insecure.

Policy Brief

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: Workshop in Public Affairs, PA 869, taught by J. Michael Collins in Spring 2017
  • Author(s): Genevieve Carter, James Dirth, Cole Korponay, Jordan Krieger, Kelsey Mueller
  • Client Name: Aspen Institute