The last decade has witnessed a considerable rise in consumer credit in developing countries. This study offers a political economy approach to an analysis of the rise in consumer debt by drawing on the case of Turkey. It argues that the recent rise in consumer credit is historically unique and it needs to be analysed by considering the demand- and supply-side determinants and contextualizing them in the many transformations that have occurred in the financial and non-financial sectors of the economy over the last decade. On the supply side, banks adapted to the new economic and political environment, which has been characterized by Turkey's deepening integration into the world economy, by diversifying their activities towards consumer lending. On the demand side, consumer credit growth is linked to the relative deprivation in popular incomes during this period in that poorer households have come to depend on credit for everyday basic consumption.