June 17, 2021
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Delinquencies on credit accounts continue to be low despite the pandemic

This post is the first in a series documenting trends in consumer credit outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last August, we published a report on early trends in consumer credit outcomes through June 2020, which found largely positive trends in those outcomes despite widespread economic hardship due to the pandemic. In this series we will examine how the trends in consumer credit outcomes have evolved since June 2020.

This post focuses on trends in delinquencies for auto loans, student loans, mortgages and credit cards. Possibly due to federal, state and local policy interventions providing payment assistance and income support, in the August 2020 report, we found that new delinquencies declined for auto loan, mortgage, student loan, and credit card accounts through June of 2020. Since July 2020, delinquencies for auto loans and credit cards have risen somewhat, but as of March 2021, the rate of new delinquencies on all four types of credit are still below pre-pandemic levels.

We use the Bureau’s Consumer Credit Panel (CCP), a deidentified sample of records from one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. We focus on month-to-month transitions in delinquencies—loans that were reported as current in one month and delinquent the next, or were already delinquent and increased the number of days past due. The share of loans that became current or less delinquent was largely constant before and during the pandemic (not shown), and so we focus on transitions into delinquency. The August 2020 report contains additional details on the methodology.

Paving the Payments Future
U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, new Gallup report finds

U.S. workers are some of the most stressed employees in the world, according to Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace report, which captures how people are feeling about work and life in the past year.

U.S. and Canadian workers, whose survey data are combined in Gallup’s research, ranked highest for daily stress levels of all groups surveyed. Some 57% of U.S. and Canadian workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis, up by eight percentage points from the year prior and compared with 43% of people who feel that way globally, according to Gallup’s 2021 report.

This spike isn’t surprising to Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief workplace scientist, who tells CNBC Make It that rates of daily stress, worry, sadness and anger have been trending upward for American workers since 2009. Concerns over the virus, sickness, financial insecurity and racial trauma all contributed to added stress during the pandemic.

IRS unveils Non-filer sign-up tool for CTC payments: The Treasury Department and IRS unveiled an online Non-filer Sign-up tool designed to help eligible families who don’t normally file tax returns register for the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments, scheduled to begin on July 15.

New Advanced CTC FAQs page: View the new frequently asked questions about the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021, separated by topics.

Second quarter estimated tax payment deadline: The IRS reminds taxpayers who pay estimated taxes that they have until June 15 to pay their estimated tax payment for the second quarter of tax year 2021 without penalty.
Harris announces $1.25 billion for community lenders

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris announced Tuesday that the Biden administration is distributing $1.25 billion to hundreds of community lenders in an effort to help boost the economic recovery from the coronavirus for small businesses and disadvantaged business owners.

“President Joe Biden and I knew that more than repair, we must re-imagine our economy,” Harris said during an event at the White House. “Small businesses, of course, are at the center of this re-imagining.”

The funds are going to more than 860 community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, around the country. CDFIs offer loans to small businesses and those who may be turned down for loans from major banks, a problem that studies have shown particularly plagues minority business owners.

Harris has focused on small businesses from the start of her vice presidency, and has emphasized in particular the need to support minority- and female-owned small businesses as key to a robust economic recovery.

During the pandemic, teen summer employment hit its lowest point since the Great Recession

During the pandemic summer of 2020, teen summer employment in the United States plunged to its lowest level since the Great Recession, erasing a decade’s worth of slow gains, according to Pew Research Center’s latest analysis of federal employment data.

Fewer than a third (30.8%) of U.S. teens had a paying job last summer, as many of the places most likely to employ them – restaurants, shops, recreation centers, tourist attractions – were either shuttered entirely or had their operations severely curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, 35.8% of teens worked over the summer.

As recently as 2000, more than half (51.7%) of U.S. teens could expect to spend at least part of their summer vacation lifeguarding, selling T-shirts, dishing up soft-serve ice cream or otherwise working for pay. But the share of teens working during the summer tumbled soon after, to 29.6% in 2010 and 2011. When teens do get summer jobs these days, they’re more likely to be busing tables or tending a grill than staffing a mall boutique or souvenir stand (despite an uptick in teen retail employment in 2020).

Jamie Dimon says JPMorgan is hoarding cash because ‘very good chance’ inflation is here to stay

  • JPMorgan Chase has been “effectively stockpiling” cash rather than using it to buy Treasuries or other investments because of the possibility higher inflation will force the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates, Dimon said Monday during a conference.
  • “We have a lot of cash and capability and we’re going to be very patient, because I think you have a very good chance inflation will be more than transitory,” said Dimon, longtime JPMorgan CEO.
  • The bank now expects $52.5 billion in net interest income in 2021, down from the $55 billion it disclosed in February, as the firm stockpiled cash and on lower credit card balances.

Nearly half of Americans willing to take on debt this year, study shows

44% of US adults say they'd indulge in post-pandemic splurge industry analyst Ted Rossman detailed a recent study that unveiled 44% of Americans are willing to take on discretionary debt in the second half of 2021. Rossman said to expect a spending spike on goods and services on "Mornings with Maria" Thursday and argued it could impact your credit card debt.

We found 44% of U.S. adults say that they are willing to take on debt for discretionary purchases in the second half of the year. And what surprised me is that it's not just services like travel and dining. We knew those were going to surge. 

What we didn't realize, though, was that the spending on goods would continue. Lots of people are still planning home renovations, car purchases, furniture or electronics. I really thought those trends would have been more played out at this point and that demand was pulled forward. 

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Interpretive Rule on Authority to Resume Examinations Regarding the Military Lending Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule today that explains the basis for its authority to examine supervised financial institutions for risks to active duty servicemembers and their dependents (i.e. military borrowers) from conduct that violates the Military Lending Act (MLA). “The Military Lending Act is an essential law protecting the finances of our military families and we are excited to announce this rule change prior to July, which is Military Consumer Month,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Through our enforcement of the MLA, companies that harmed military borrowers have been ordered to pay millions of dollars in redress and civil penalties. To fulfill its purpose and protect military borrowers we must supervise financial institutions and hold them accountable for endangering consumers.”

“This decision affirms the CFPB’s ongoing commitment to the financial protection of our servicemembers and their families,” said Jim Rice, Assistant Director for the CFPB’s Office of Servicemember Affairs.

How a global website outage underscores the importance of creating a more robust internet

Can a problem at a single company cause a globe-spanning internet glitch knocking the websites of the New York Times, BBC, Hulu, U.K. government, PayPal, and many more organizations offline? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, as demonstrated by the approximately hour-long outage that occurred on the morning (in the U.S.) of June 8. The cause was what Fastly, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), referred to as a “service configuration” that the company quickly disabled once its role in preventing websites from loading became clear.

While the outage was quickly fixed, the fact that it occurred at all underscores how the internet isn’t nearly as distributed as we tend to think. There may be billions of internet users and even more internet-connected devices than there are users, but a surprisingly small number of companies are responsible for operating the behind-the-scenes plumbing. As Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince explained in a 2017 post, the infrastructure of the internet includes hosting services (where the content on websites is stored), companies that ensure that a user who types a web address such as “” into a browser is directed to the right place, CDNs, and companies that quickly move vast amounts of data across cities, countries, and oceans.

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