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142 posts on "Household Finance"

August 13, 2020

The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children



LSE_2020_covid-households-kids_van-der-klaauw_460

A growing body of evidence points to large negative economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income, Black, and Hispanic Americans (see this LSE post and reports by Pew Research and Harvard). Beyond the consequences of school cancellations and lost social interactions, there exists considerable concern about the long-lasting effects of economic hardship on children. In this post, we assess the extent of the underlying economic and financial strain faced by households with children living at home, using newly collected data from the monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE).

Continue reading "The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis, Household, Household Finance, Inequality, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 06, 2020

A Monthly Peek into Americans’ Credit During the COVID-19 Pandemic



HDC_2020_news_0806_460

Total household debt was roughly flat in the second quarter of 2020, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. But, for the first time, the dynamics in household debt balances were driven primarily by a sharp decline in credit card balances, as consumer spending plummeted. In an effort to gain greater clarity, the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve System have acquired monthly updates for the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, based on anonymized Equifax credit report data. We’ve been closely watching the data as they roll in, and here we present six key takeaways on the consumer balance sheet in the months since COVID-19 hit.

Continue reading "A Monthly Peek into Americans’ Credit During the COVID-19 Pandemic" »

Posted by Blog Author at 11:04 AM in Household Finance, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 08, 2020

Medicare and Financial Health across the United States



Medicare and Financial Health across the United States

Consumer financial strain varies enormously across the United States. One pernicious source of financial strain is debt in collections—debt that is more than 120 days past due and that has been sold to a collections agency. In Massachusetts, the average person has less than $100 in collections debt, while in Texas, the average person has more than $300. In this post, we discuss our recent staff report that exploits the fact that virtually all Americans are universally covered by Medicare at 65 to show that health insurance not only improves financial health on average, but also is a major explanation for the heterogeneity in financial strain across the country. We find that Medicare affects different parts of the United States differently and plays a particularly important role in improving financial health in the least advantaged areas.

Continue reading "Medicare and Financial Health across the United States" »

Posted by Blog Author at 8:00 AM in Household Finance, Inequality | Permalink | Comments (0)

Do College Tuition Subsidies Boost Spending and Reduce Debt? Impacts by Income and Race



Do College Tuition Subsidies Boost Spending and Reduce Debt? Impacts by Income and Race

In an October post, we showed the effect of college tuition subsidies in the form of merit-based financial aid on educational and student debt outcomes, documenting a large decline in student debt for those eligible for merit aid. Additionally, we reported striking differences in these outcomes by demographics, as proxied by neighborhood race and income. In this follow-up post, we examine whether and how this effect passes through to other debt and consumption outcomes, namely those related to autos, homes, and credit cards. We find that access to merit aid leads to an immediate but temporary increase in eligible individuals’ consumption in these categories. The increase is followed by a decline in consumption and a reduction in total debt of these types in the longer term. Importantly, there are marked differences in these consumption and debt patterns across income and race groups.

Continue reading "Do College Tuition Subsidies Boost Spending and Reduce Debt? Impacts by Income and Race" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:45 AM in Education, Household Finance, Inequality, Student Loans | Permalink | Comments (0)

Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes



Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes

Across the United States, the cost of all types of higher education has been rising faster than overall inflation for more than two decades. Despite rising costs, aggregate undergraduate enrollment rose steadily between 2000 and 2010 before leveling off and dipping slightly to its current level. Rising college costs have steadily increased dependence on student debt for college financing, with many students and parents turning to federal and private loans to pay for higher education. An earlier post in this series reported that borrowers in majority Black areas have higher student loan balances and rates of default than those in both majority white and majority Hispanic areas. In this post, we study how differences in college attendance rates and in the types of colleges attended generate heterogeneity in loan experiences. Specifically, using nationwide data, we analyze heterogeneities in college-going and heterogeneities in student debt and default experiences by college type across individuals living in majority Black, majority Hispanic, and majority white zip codes.

Continue reading "Measuring Racial Disparities in Higher Education and Student Debt Outcomes" »

Inequality in U.S. Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity



LSE_Inequality in U.S. Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity

Homeownership has historically been an important means for Americans to accumulate wealth—in fact, at more than $15 trillion, housing equity accounts for 16 percent of total U.S. household wealth. Consequently, the U.S. homeownership cycle has triggered large swings in Americans’ net worth over the past twenty-five years. However, the nature of those swings has varied significantly by race and ethnicity, with different demographic groups tracing distinct trajectories through the housing boom, the foreclosure crisis, and the subsequent recovery. Here, we look into the dynamics underlying these divergences and explore some potential explanations.

Continue reading "Inequality in U.S. Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Foreclosure, Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 07, 2020

Introduction to Heterogeneity Series III: Credit Market Outcomes



Introduction to Heterogeneity Series III: Credit Market Outcomes

Average economic outcomes serve as important indicators of the overall state of the economy. However, they mask a lot of underlying variability in how people experience the economy across geography, or by race, income, age, or other attributes. Following our series on heterogeneity broadly in October 2019 and in labor market outcomes in March 2020, we now turn our focus to further documenting heterogeneity in the credit market. While we have written about credit market heterogeneity before, this series integrates insights on disparities in outcomes in various parts of the credit market. The analysis includes a look at differing homeownership rates across populations, varying exposure to foreclosures and evictions, and uneven student loan burdens and repayment behaviors. It also covers heterogeneous effects of policies by comparing financial health outcomes for those with access to public tuition subsidies and Medicare versus those not eligible. The findings underscore that a measure of the average, particularly relating to policy impact, is far from complete. Rather, a sharper picture of the diverse effects is essential to understanding the efficacy of policy.

Continue reading "Introduction to Heterogeneity Series III: Credit Market Outcomes" »

May 07, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak, Consumers Temper Spending Outlook



LSE_Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak, Consumers Temper Spending Outlook

The New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data released results today from its April 2020 SCE Household Spending Survey, which provides information on consumers' experiences and expectations regarding household spending. These data have been collected every four months since December 2014 as part of our Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Given the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the April survey, which was fielded between April 2 and 30, unsurprisingly shows a number of sharp changes in consumers’ spending behavior and outlook, which we review in this post.

Continue reading "Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak, Consumers Temper Spending Outlook" »

Posted by Blog Author at 11:00 AM in Expectations, Household Finance, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 05, 2020

U.S. Consumer Debt Payments and Credit Buffers on the Eve of COVID-19



American Consumer Debt Payments and Credit Buffers on the Eve of COVID-19

Today, the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for 2020:Q1. Because consumer debt servicing statements are typically furnished to credit bureaus only once during every statement period, our snapshot of consumer credit reports as of March 31, 2020 is, in effect, largely a pre‑COVID‑19 view of the consumer balance sheet. While significant indications of the pandemic are yet to appear in our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP—the data source for the Quarterly Report, based on anonymized Equifax credit reports), we are able to observe the credit position of the American consumer just as the pandemic and associated lockdowns struck the United States.

Continue reading "U.S. Consumer Debt Payments and Credit Buffers on the Eve of COVID-19" »

Posted by Blog Author at 11:00 AM in Household Finance | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 16, 2020

How Widespread Is the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Consumer Expectations?



How Widespread Is the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Consumer Expectations?

In a recent blog post, we showed that consumer expectations worsened sharply through March, as the COVID-19 epidemic spread and affected a growing part of the U.S. population. In this post, we document how much of this deterioration can be directly attributed to the coronavirus outbreak. We then explore how the effect of the outbreak has varied over time and across demographic groups.

Continue reading "How Widespread Is the Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Consumer Expectations?" »

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Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

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