Summary of For Better and for Worse?

Looking for the report?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

For Better and for Worse? summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans


7 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


Debt is an important aspect of American life, but economic theory diverges on the consequences of credit access to human well-being. Economist Christine Dobridge specifically looks at the impact of payday loans – small, short-term, high-interest loans – on US households in this brief but informative study. Should these loans, which some critics consider predatory lending, face stringent regulation or prohibition? Or do they actually serve a useful purpose that justifies allowing people access to them? getAbstract recommends this astute report to policy makers and financial services professionals for its insights into the payday lending market.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How payday lending works,
  • How it affects the financial well-being of borrowers and
  • Whether regulators’ concerns about payday loans are justified.

About the Author

Christine L. Dobridge is an economist with the Federal Reserve System.



Consumers in the United States tend to rack up huge amounts of debt. In 2013, fully three-quarters of US households used some form of credit, owing a total of $13.8 trillion. Servicing that debt takes up a good part of a household’s income – a median 16%. This high debt usage has invited criticism, but access to credit has both positive and negative consequences. Some research has suggested that credit helps people “smooth consumption over shocks,” while other studies find that debt hurts the financially inexperienced or uninformed, as well as those with “unusually strong preferences for current consumption...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

America’s poor subsidize wealthier consumers in a vicious income inequality cycle
Biggest Financial Regulation Stories of 2017, and What to Watch in 2018
The Value of Debt in Building Wealth
The Death of Homo Economicus
Are Negative Rates a “Calamitous Misadventure"? ECB Economists Say No
Citizen Security in Latin America

Related Channels

Comment on this summary