But after the war, consumerism collided with the ascension of credit cards that allowed repayment in installments. In 1978, a U.S. Supreme Court decision made it easier for banks to charge higher interest rates on credit cards and cross state lines (to do business in other states) with in pursuit of customers. In the 1980s, rapidly rising inflation made the use of credit cards an attractive way to buy things before their prices went up. In the 1990s, home equity loans allowed consumers to tap money that they couldn’t otherwise access (to take out a loan, using your house as equity, (a guarantee) to get the loan. If you owed $20,000 on the house, but it was worth $50,000, you could get a loan for $30,000. However, now the mortgage loan is for $50,000 and the payment would go up. These loans were easy to get in the 1990's.)without selling their houses.
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