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We present a simple model of personal finance in which an incumbent lender has an information advantage vis-à-vis both potential competitors and households. In order to extract more consumer surplus, a lender with sufficient market power may engage in ‘irresponsible’ lending, approving credit even if this is knowingly against a household's best interest. Unless rival lenders are equally well informed, competition may reduce welfare. This holds, in particular, if less informed rivals can free ride on the incumbent's superior screening ability.