A report from the EY Item Club suggests the popularity of buying now and paying later is improving after a four-year slump.
However, net lending to businesses is expected to have fallen this year, adding weight to fears the recovery is heavily balanced towards household spending.
Consumer credit has fallen by 23%, or nearly £50 billion, since 2008, but will notch up a small increase this year, according to the report.
Carl Astorri, senior economic adviser to the EY Item Club financial services forecast, said: "Net consumer lending is only set to grow by 1.5% this year, but it is very encouraging that it has now finally returned to growth."
He said while the Bank of England's Funding for Lending scheme had helped banks ease credit conditions, the key driver of growth was consumer demand.
It comes amid latest official figures showing the economy grew at 0.8% in the third quarter, its fastest pace in three years.
Mr Astorri said: "As confidence in the economy improves and the housing market accelerates, consumers are more willing to borrow."
Some economists question the sustainability of a recovery led by household spending increases at a time when real wages are falling, with pay increases lagging well behind inflation.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney said last week that the recovery was heavily weighted towards households while investment and exports were still off the pace.