In the broader sense, any type of loan extended by a bank to an individual customer or to a private household (a line of credit extended for an individual or a private household). – In Germany, loans to private households accounted for the largest share of domestic lending – excluding government and interbank lending – at just over forty percent in 2010. Residential construction accounted for a good third of this. The interest rate lock-in period of such loans is predominantly longer-term. – In Switzerland, this form of lending has been regulated by a separate law since 2001. – In a narrower sense, a loan is exclusively for the purchase of essential goods, i.e., goods that are indispensable for preserving life and health. In this thought content the consumer credit plays an important role in the old interest theories, which tried to fathom a justification of the interest taking also with needy. – See cover letter, cash credit, maximum terms, Königsberg system, purpose of credit, term money, personal credit, multiple connection, installment payment, debt ratio, private, submission, excess, usury, interest prohibition. – Cf. the breakdown of consumer loans, also by maturity, in the annex “Euro area statistics” under the heading “Monetary developments, banks and investment funds,” subheading “MFI loans, breakdown”; BaFin Annual Report 2006, p. 21 (jump in number of consumer insolvencies as a result of expanded consumer credit); ECB Monthly Bulletin of October 2007, p. 75 et seq. (detailed presentation and breakdown of consumer credit; overviews); Deutsche Bundesbank Monthly Bulletin of September 2009, p. 18 et seq. (lending to households during the financial crisis; overviews), ECB Monthly Bulletin of October 2009, pp. 19 ff. (consumer credit over the business cycle; overviews; references), ECB Monthly Bulletin of September 2010, p. 53 (loans to households broken down since 2003), ECB Monthly Bulletin of March 2011, pp. 59 et seq. (consumer loans compared with housing loans; overviews), BaFin’s 2011 Annual Report, p. 31 (consumer insolvencies decline after peaking in 2010), and the respective BaFin Annual Report, chapter “Economic environment.”
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