It has been eight years since the economy started to show signs of recovery after the financial crash. In recent months, financial analysts and media pundits have spoken of the rise in the stock market as a sign is increased financial security. The inflation rate has remained low at roughly 2 percent, according to USA Today. As the economy continues to recover, analysts say that more Americans are seeing a rise in income. But, even with the low inflation rate and rising incomes, many consumers continue to struggle to make ends meet in the real world.
It is important to note that in a good economy, as well as in rocky times, individuals can face a variety of circumstances that make it difficult to manage debt. Many honest, hard-working people can face debt problems. Overall economic indicators may suggest that the economy is good. But that does not necessarily mean that the national statistics are felt in neighborhoods throughout the Cincinnati area.
Lenders Extending More Credit, But With Tighter Standards
As the economy grows, for example, many banks and credit card companies have tightened their standards for approving credit, according to a recent survey conducted by the Federal Reserve and Deutsche Bank. Many financial institutions have been advancing credit to households in the lower and middle-income ranges in recent months. Matthew Mish, who serves as the Head of Developed Credit Strategy at UBS Investment Bank believes that changes are a result of new policies aimed at lending to more consumers who have a tight budget as the economy improves.
The chief economist at Deutsche Bank, Joe LaVorgna, says that low interest rates have forced credit card companies to tighten their standards for the short-term, but believes that as interest rates start to rise, credit will become increasingly available for low- and middle-class consumers.
With the mixed messages about the current state of credit, 18 percent of consumers believe that they will not be able to keep current on their loan payments in the near future, according to a recent UBS Investment Bank survey. Economic indicators keep showing signs of continuing improvement, yet in the real world, consumers still may need to find effective strategies for debt management, or meaningful debt relief.