This chapter in the State of Lending report series presents a picture of the overall financial status of U.S. consumers today. It is based on data from the Consumer Expenditure survey, the Survey of Consumer Finances, and other national data sources. These sources reveal that, since 2000, American families have faced declining real incomes,a higher cost of living, greater debt levels, and declining asset values and wealth.

Rebuilding the tenuous balance sheets of American households will require access to safe and affordable credit, along with strong protections to prevent predatory lending. Subsequent chapters of State of Lending outline CRL's perspective on how to achieve these two important goals.

Read this chapter below or download the full report.