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(Epic Economist)—If you’re worried about your finances, you’re far from alone. U.S. banks are warning that a credit crisis worse than 2008 is on the horizon, and it is coming at the worst possible time for American families. Credit card issuers are about to tighten lending standards even further, making it more difficult for consumers to get loans and have access to credit at a time when 77%, or more than three in four, households report feeling anxious about their money situation.
Not only households are having a harder time making ends meet, but getting out of debt is becoming increasingly difficult. No wonder more Americans are going bankrupt. Compared to a year ago, the number of personal bankrupcies is 18% higher.
Everyone seems to be dealing with financial setbacks. That’s why we are relying more on credit cards to get by than ever before. And people are not resorting to credit just to make big-ticket purchases, as they used to do in the past. They are having to use their credit cards for basic necessities such as rent, energy, and groceries.
The New York Federal Reserve revealed that the typical household now carries $10,170 credit card debt. In the past quarter alone, nationwide credit card debt swelled by $43 billion – the second-largest increase on record. On the other hand, in September, 60% of respondents to the New York Fed’s Survey of Consumer Expectations said that their ability to get loans is lower than it was a year ago. That’s because the credit crisis banks have been warning about has already begun.
In recent months, credit card companies have been reporting extensive losses due to the rise in credit card debt delinquencies and defaults. Borrowers are facing mounting challenges to pay their balances in full each month. In all, americans owe more than $1 trillion on credit cards, a record high. Goldman Sachs said on Friday that credit card issuers’ financial losses caused by delinquencies and defaults rose by 3.64% in the past three months.
The bank’s analysts see them rising another 1.3 percentage points to 4.93% in October.”Losses have been climbing quickly since early 2022, jumping at speeds not seen since the 2008 financial crisis,” Goldman emphasized.
With more banks announcing tighter lending standards, many consumers will become more financially insecure, especially those who rely on overdrafts to cover short-term financial needs and unexpected expenses and maintain their purchasing power. This situation has put already-struggling banks on edge.
Fears of a full-blown credit crunch and the resulting negative impact on households, businesses, and the U.S. economy are at an all-time high. During a credit crunch, loans become tougher to get. Banks that offer them might do so with more onerous terms like abnormally high-interest rates or other restrictions — making such financing more costly.
At this point, banks are doing whatever they can to stay afloat, because this time around, there will be no rescuing or bailing out from the Federal Reserve. According to Bloomberg, we may face potentially dire consequences due to the administration’s continued inability to manage its finances. That matters because it shows that the government does not have the means to lift the country out of a crisis like it did in 2008. So if more people become delinquent on their debt and more financial institutions fail, there will be no safety net protecting our economy from collapsing.