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Consumer debt


The amount owed by consumers at any time as the result of past acceptance of consumer credit. The amount of consumer debt rises each month through new purchases on credit, and the addition of interest payable on existing debt; it falls each month through repayments, and the writing-off by creditors of bad debts which they have given up hope of collecting, where debtors are dead, bankrupt, or untraceable.


Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.