U.S. lenders issued more credit cards than ever last year, with a growing share of them going to consumers with lower credit scores. A record 196 million Americans held cards at the end of 2021, according to a report by TransUnion. In the third quarter, the number of new cards issued hit an all-time high of 20.1 million. Some 9 million of them went to so-called non-prime borrowers—-those with poor or fair credit. The surge shows how lenders seeking growth are eager to tap into consumers who’ve largely been able to meet their obligations even after pandemic stimulus programs ended last year. Credit card issuers have been ramping up marketing campaigns and competing to lure customers.
Owning Cryptocurrency May Make You More Desirable on the Dating Scene
With Valentine’s Day approaching, single men and women are setting their sights on a partner who is not just financially stable but savvy, especially when it comes to digital currencies. To that point, 33% of Americans said they would be more likely to go on a date with someone who mentioned crypto assets in their online dating profile. Further, nearly three in four would be more interested in a second date with a person who paid the bill in bitcoin, according to a recent survey by eToro. Other digital assets, like nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are also desirable. Nearly 20% of singles would be more interested in you romantically if you set an NFT as your profile picture on a social platform or dating site. [CNBC]
Bankruptcy Filings Continue to Decline Despite Skyrocketing Credit Balances
Bankruptcy filings declined when the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020 as revolving credit balances sharply dwindled. Although revolving credit balances have abruptly risen in 2021, bankruptcy filings have continued to steadily fall. Personal bankruptcy filings fell 29.1% for the year ending Sept. 30, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Consumers have been carrying less revolving credit card debt during this time. Increased government benefits like stimulus checks, foreclosure moratoriums and eviction bans may have also “eased financial pressures in many households,” according to the U.S. Courts report. But recent data from the Federal Reserve shows that revolving credit balances have risen 7.7% nationwide in 2021 alone, which means that some consumers may be considering filing for bankruptcy to discharge unsecured debts like credit cards and personal loans.