Salon.com » The evolution of American debt
Interview with author of Borrow: the American Way of Debt discusses how, unlike in the early part of the century, credit has become un-stigmatized and since the 1990’s widely available to all people of all socio-economic statuses. Consumer credit that started out as a service to customers (no interest was charged) became a source of profit in and of itself. In the Mortgage market the middleclass, whose real weages had not increased in 30 years, started investing in real estate. The average american was able to obtain easy credit from banks for real property and saw this as a way to make money they were not making in the jobs and careers. However, easy money, and governmental policies encouraging homeownership, lead to continually rising prices and the housing bubble.