Consumer Credit: Is a Crunch Coming?

The malls are crowded and shoppers keep spending, despite record levels of personal debt. Here's why they might stop

Thank Amy Bell for helping keep the U.S. economy afloat. Bell, a 27-year-old benefits manager in Atlanta, bought a studio condominium with no money down, leased a Volkswagen Passat, and spent $2,300 on a set of living room furniture -- all in the past six months. "I have been going a bit crazy with the spending," she says.

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