22 MARCH 1930, Page 16


The National Retail Credit Association, an important business organization, has raised a fund of $7,000,000 to be spent in advertising to educate the nation in the uses and abuses of credit. It is a laudable aim and the subscribers to the fund will deserve well of the country if, at the end of the campaign, they can feel that they have obtained full value for their money. It is plain from the Association's announcement that its members are concerned, primarily and immediately, with that abuse of credit facilities which results from unnecessary reluctance or thoughtless neglect to pay bills promptly as they become due. About 40 per cent. of the people who buy on credit in the United States are characterized as " slow payers." Ten per cent. of those who buy on credit, it is alleged, do so without any expectation of paying at all. The Association hopes to stir both classes into becoming " debt-conscious." Its expectations in respect of the-10 per cent. may seem unduly optimistic, but a clear, reasonable and skilful presentation of the case certainly should have salutary effect upon a substantial proportion of the 40 per cent. For it is obvious that the cost of credit abuses ultimately must be borne by those responsible for them. The Association is able to exercise Considerable influence since it has means for bringing home in practical ways the advantages to an individual or corporation of a good credit rating in its books, and the disadvantages of a bad one. Its campaign will be valuable if it also does some- thing to counteract over-zealous salesmanship leading to injudicious extension of the " instalment system."