This study of the American impact on German consumer credit reveals that the notion of post–World War II Americanization emerging through credit-induced consumption is more complicated than has been previously acknowledged. The postwar debate in Germany over consumer credit as an American import had antecedents in a longer, previously overlooked, history of consumer credit. Moreover, the concept of Americanization remains misleading from a comparative perspective: First, examples of indigenous German institutional consumer lending predate the postwar period. Second, differences in both the forms and quantitative weight of consumer lending defy the notion of convergence. Third, different social and political contexts prevented a wholesale adoption in Germany of an American model of credit financing, despite repeated transatlantic transfers.