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Gagarina M. A., Elistratova E. D., Ustinov D. A. Attitude to Loan and Debt: the Role of Financial Competence and Personal Traits. Izvestiya of Saratov University. New Series. Series: Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology, 2020, vol. 9, iss. 2, pp. 170-177. DOI:


Attitude to Loan and Debt: the Role of Financial Competence and Personal Traits


The purpose of the study presented in the article is to investigate peculiarities of attitude to debt and loans, as well as financial competence in young people that took part/did not take part in the professional game called “Loan Portfolio”, which is aimed at increasing the level of financial competence. We compared the attitude to debt and loan in the respondents before and after the introduction of laws aimed at the protection of borrowers’ interests. The main hypothesis: the respondents that have to solve the tasks aimed at increasing financial competence will be able to make more rational decisions after participation in the financial game called “Loan Portfolio”. Participation in the game can influence their comprehension of such terms as “debt” and “loan”. The respondents (N=188) were aged 17 to 21 (M = 18,8; SD = 1,99). All of them were university students majoring in Economics. 100 students were surveyed in 2019, 88 people were surveyed in 2013. Investigation techniques include: semantic differential (the words “debt” and “loan”), problems aimed at defining the level of financial literacy, the “Big Five” questionnaire. In the course of the experiment the control group filled out the questionnaire before, and the experimental group filled out the questionnaire after their participation in the professional game called “Loan Portfolio”. It has been found out that there are no personal differences between the control and experimental groups. We have obtained valid data regarding the differences on the debt “activity” scale and the goals related to financial literacy. The experimental group evaluates debt as a less active thing and has high financial literacy-related results. We came to the conclusion that participation in the game actualizes the respondents’ knowledge regarding interest rate on the loan, accumulation of debt amount, and leads to a decrease in confidence regarding the ease of paying off students’ debts. We compared the results regarding evaluation of debt and loan with the results obtained in 2013, which showed that the attitude to loans has become more positive.


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