Tamara Madern is professor in ‘Debt Prevention and Early Detection’ at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. She has been working in the field of household finances since 2003. She studied Social Legal Services at HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and subsequently completed a degree in Social Cultural Sciences at VU University Amsterdam. During and after her studies, she worked at the National Institute for Budget Information (Nibud), initially in the position of budget consultant, then as a training advisor and later as a researcher. In 2011 she began her PhD thesis on the differences in financial behaviour between people without and with mild/serious debt. She also studied which psychological and sociological determinants play a role. In 2015 her dissertation was published.
Tamara’s research is always focused on debt prevention and financial behaviour. She tries to translate the research directly into practice. For example, she wrote a guide entitled ‘Budget coaching: monitoring progress’ and contributed to the publication ‘Money and Behaviour: The Theoretical Basis’ and supported the further development of various training courses and budget courses.
With her research, she hopes to influence the way people who are in debt are often viewed. Most people with financial problems get into this situation because of powerlessness and not unwillingness. Once the initial dip into debt is made, it is difficult not to go deeper and deeper into debt. By doing more research into debt problems and interventions, Tamara hopes to contribute to a society in which debt is no longer considered to be such a huge problem. Debt prevention is necessary, not only by debt assistance agencies, but also by looking more broadly at what is possible.
In October 2017, Tamara held her public lecture titled ‘Not because you can, but because you must: The importance of debt prevention and early detection’.
For information about the research group for Debt and Debt Collection, see schuldenenincasso.nl.