Indebted Life

Follow the characters as they find and apply for a loan online. Explore their real-life situations, feelings and experiences as they look for credit. Build a picture of their lives by reading their text messages and emails, looking at their calendar and checking their online bank account. Help them to make decisions about how much to borrow and whether or not to take out a loan, leading to different outcomes for each character.

What is Indebted Life?
Indebted Life is an educational tool designed by researchers at Newcastle University. It is the result of original qualitative research conducted by Newcastle University and Durham University (September 2016 – March 2018), which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, Ref: ES/N012666/1). Lots of people now access credit, like payday loans and instalment loans, online. By using smartphones, tablets and laptops, people can search for, apply for and manage credit whilst at home, at work or on the move, at any time of the day or night. This has transformed the accessibility and instantaneity of credit and the spaces and times within which people can apply for and use credit. The research investigated how access to credit online is changing people’s borrowing practices and affecting their personal and financial wellbeing.

Who should use the Indebted Life tool?
There are different groups that would benefit from using the Indebted Life tool:
1. Anyone who is thinking about taking out a loan but want some thinking space to consider their decision and its potential consequences.
2. Organisations, including schools and charities, delivering money and/or debt management sessions to adults and young people.
3. Staff and volunteers who provide debt and consumer advice to members of the public, who would like to know more about why people borrow online.
4. Anyone interested in exploring how loan websites are designed and how consumers interact with them to make borrowing decisions.

Where can I find out more?
You can read the full research report on the project website:
We have also produced a training guide for Indebted Life. The training guide has been designed to help debt advisers and educators use the tool as part of their advice giving or money management session delivery.
Read more

What’s new

What is it like to take out a high-cost short-term loan?
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Additional information

24 May 2018
Current Version
Requires Android
4.1 and up
Content rating
Offered By
James Ash
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