The latest issue of Research Corner considers unsecured consumer debt—closed-end installment loans used primarily to consolidate existing debt, cover emergency expenses or make large purchases. By the end of Q3 2022, 22 million Americans held these loans with an average balance of $10,749. This represents a 35% increase over 2021 according to a recent TransUnion Report, which attributes the rise to “significant increases in lending to below prime risk tiers” and the wealth-eroding effect of persistent inflation. Issuance of ABS backed by unsecured consumer loans has reached $17 billion so far in 2022, a historical high. Industry analysts expect lower supply in 2023 as high prices, high interest rates and softer labor markets impact loan origination levels and investor demand. Read more.