The main goal of this research proposal is to shed light on the emergence of private credit in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in a comparative perspective. The ambition is twofold. First, compare the implementation strategies of lenders and the subsequent local particularities in different countries of the region and gain insight on the impact of the penetration of credit services in transition economies. Then, compare the levels and forms of indebtedness and their impact on the economic and social life in the different countries. The topic is hot and current as debt is undoubtfully the major and most pressing economic and social problem not only for the New Democracies but also for the developed countries and especially the Euro-Atlantic community which former communist countries fought so hard to join.