Nearly 15 million credit card bills weren't paid in April: report

Nearly 15 million credit card bills weren't paid in April: report
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New data from credit-reporting firm TransUnion shows that millions of Americans failed to make payments on their credit cards and auto loans in April, underscoring the economic toll that the coronavirus pandemic has leveled on the country.

For the month of April, lenders had almost 15 million credit cards in "financial hardship" programs, TransUnion estimated on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. These programs include deferrals that allow borrowers to temporarily forgo making payments.

According to TransUnion, these credit cards make up roughly 3 percent of the credit card accounts that it tracks.

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Additionally, almost 3 million auto loans — which TransUnion also tracks — were in hardship programs in April. Those unpaid auto loans make up roughly 3.5 percent of auto loans tracked by the company.

Both figures are markedly higher than a year ago, when just 0.03 percent of credit cards and 0.5 percent of auto loans were in financial hardship programs, the Journal reports.

Personal loans also went unpaid, as approximately 840,000 of them were deferred or put into some kind of financial hardship program. TransUnion's estimates include accounts that borrowers asked to be paused or were frozen.

The spike of unpaid loans and credit cards comes amid rising unemployment in the U.S., with the rate of jobless Americans swelling to nearly 15 percent during the pandemic. Over 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the crisis began.