My research explores why consumer debt levels have risen so rapidly since the mid-1990s in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Having completed my PhD in International Relations at the University of Sussex, my background is in International Political Economy. As such, my interest is how and why global finance matters in everyday life. Using a political economy lens I attempt to situate escalating consumer debt levels as one facet of our current historical conjuncture of financialization. I look at public policy priorities, macroeconomic trajectories, practices of the consumer credit industry, as well as research on consumer finances and attitudes. By taking this broad approach my aim is to evaluate the co-constitutive nature of the socio-economic changes that brought about rising consumer debt levels.