The Effect of Disclosure on Consumer Knowledge of Credit Terms: A Longitudinal Study
Early evaluations of Truth‐in‐Lending have observed impressive gains in consumer knowledge about interest rates. Contrary to original goals, consumers with more education, income, and debt experience have benefited far more than low‐income and minority consumers. How will these results change over time as consumers gain credit experience with the aid of disclosure? Has disclosure improved consumer understanding about finance charges, and what factors beyond socio‐economic status might have enhanced consumer knowledge of credit terms? These questions are addressed in this report of a large sample of California households surveyed at two points in time. The longitudinal analysis shows individual changes in knowledge, the effects of credit experience on learning, and a projection of future levels of credit knowledge.