I want to make a distinction between two groups of people:

  • Group A has the liquidity and borrowing power.
  • Group B has minimal liquidity and borrowing power.

The term "credit rating" implies it's in the traditional financial network, whereas I'm referring to loans among friends, and the ability for that peer group to fulfill an obligation.

The most relevant term I can come up with is that each social network has a different "Economic Plasticity".


The basis for this question is a recent NPR broadcast where a researcher was looking at the public records of collection agencies, and in particular the addresses to which those collection notices were sent. He noticed that collection notices were sent largely to neighborhoods with a minority population. Knowing that collections are traded like sub-prime mortgages, and that there is likely no inherent racism in this, he was nevertheless able to find a common thread:

Non-minority/white populations who were more connected to friends and family were more able to help with surprise expenses such as car issues, funeral expenses, and accidents. On the other hand, minority populations would struggle to withstand those momentary hardships even if they exhausted the resources of their peer network;

The cumulative economic penalties (late fees, interest rates, etc) create a system where the oppressed stay oppressed, and the financially endowed stay endowed.

Not mentioned in this broadcast were the wealthy risk takers, who collectively make bad decisions that could see them end up in a similar situation where they are unable to borrow from friends.

I intend to create a chart, that shows this "economic plasticity" among groups of people. Any better term is appreciated

In a world where financial inequality is the leading topic of these times, I think this term would be useful in gaining perspective, and perhaps, compassion for those who suffer from this plight

  • 1
    @Edwin Ashworth - Thank you for the revisions. Seems like we canceled out our edits. I manually added your revisions (and thank you!). EDIT - looks like we did it again. My hands are off the keyboard for a while. Thanks for reminding me of what I forgot, you're helping me become a better writer. Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 16:43
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    Econ.SE might be better equipped to suggest a suitable scholarly term.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 18:24
  • Might some form with "leverage" be what you are talking about? "[Adjective] leverage"? I don't think it's great, just OK. (I keep going back, also, to "liquidity"...)
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 5:41
  • Or "financial flexibility"?
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 5:41
  • There are a hundred different reasons, good and bad, why person A might or might not loan money to person B. No single term is going to encompass everything.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


Financial security can be a measure of one's ability to handle unforeseen financial expenses:

Financial security refers to the peace of mind you feel when you aren't worried about your income being enough to cover your expenses. It also means that you have enough money saved to cover emergencies and your future financial goals. When you are financially secure, your stress levels goes down, leaving you free to focus on other issues. (Quicken.com)

Those with greater financial security, regardless of how it is obtained, might be in a better position to do one of two things (or both):

  • Loan money to friends without experiencing financial stress themselves
  • Be considered a safe risk as a borrower

Financial security is not necessarily about cash on hand or cash flow. It might be derived from other less liquid assets or from a demonstrated ability to be continuously productive. Productivity reduces financial stress and increase financial security.

The degree of financial security might be based on what amount of unforeseen expense or debt is acceptable, for example.


'Credit Rating' may be applicable here:

Credit Rating - noun

1 - a classification of credit risk based on investigation of a customer's or potential customer's financial resources, prior payment pattern, and personal history or degree of personal responsibility for debts incurred.


1 - an evaluation of the creditworthiness of an individual or business enterprise

Both www.dictionary.com

In your example Group A would have a higher credit rating than Group B

Related: 'creditworthiness'

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    This is exactly the term I'm trying to avoid. The concept I'm focused on is an influencing aspect to one's credit rating, but I want to make a distinction between the one's social network and the credit rating itself... so that people can readily learn the relationship between each. Notably, the finance involved is outside the banking system, as it's a loan among friends. I never ask my friend for their credit rating if they need a loan to cover their grandma's funeral expenses. Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 16:57

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