The marketing of debt consolidation loans is intended to offer a financial remedy to consumers faced with mounting debt and credit problems and unable to meet their monthly payments. The authors argue that debt consolidation loan marketing overemphasizes the short-term benefits (e.g., lower monthly payments) and downplays the considerable downside of these loans (e.g., longer repayment and more total interest paid). Two experiments demonstrate that a financial literacy intervention combining information about loans and lenders can help consumers understand and respond to debt consolidation loan marketing (whereas a basic financial numeracy intervention does not). Implications for consumers, marketers, public policy makers, and researchers who work in the area of financial literacy are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics