If it is not urgently brought under control by the authorities, it could rapidly lead to a nasty bust.We all know from the build-up to the financial crisis of 2007/08 how vulnerable Britain is to a credit bubble that bursts.
The Bank of England is so concerned by the levels of consumer debt it has launched a major review of lending practices.
Prosperity is brought to a shuddering halt, devastating the lives of those least able to absorb the pain.
What is most shocking is that many of the same banks and financial institutions so mortally damaged by the panic of less than a decade ago are now building profits on the back of unsecured personal loans, credit cards, car finance deals and payday loans.
Barclaycard used to demand all applicants earned at least £10,000, with some accounts requiring an income of £20,000.
But five years on, it now has no minimum income threshold on the majority of its cards, according to Moneyfacts.