Puangpeth Urabut, a 40-year old government employee in Thailand's northeastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu, is the archetypical Thai consumer -- neck-deep in debt and borrowing against future income to fund basic consumption.
Puangpeth earns about 25,000 baht ($718.18) per month but has a pile of debt to cover, including 4 credit cards with 250,000 baht due on them and a car loan of 300,000 baht. She even draws cash from one credit card to service another.
"It's getting more difficult for me to service my debt," she says. "I hardly make ends meet and will have to keep borrowing."
Consumers, like Puangpeth, whose debt-fueled spending had propped up Asia's struggling economies over the years, have now become a problem for their central banks, even with interest rates at record lows.
Consumers and even firms are so indebted that they can't borrow more, no matter how cheap loans are.
As the finance ministers of the world's 20 major economies said last month, "monetary policy alone cannot lead to balanced growth."