The credit crunch experienced nationwide in the last few years has continued for many consumers, and has now manifested itself in fears over their inability to pay their monthly bills, as well as added worries related to new fees on their credit cards, according to the latest Consumer Reports Trouble Tracker Index.
The index climbed for the third month in a row, up to a rating of 58.7 from 54.2 a month ago, and 53.4 in the same period last year, the report said. In all, 9.7 percent of respondents said they experienced some inability to pay their monthly bills.
Households with lower income – those earning less than $50,000 a year – have been far more affected by the ongoing economic strife than more affluent consumers, the report said. Of this group, 14.1 percent missed a payment on a major bill during the month, and 11.7 percent lost their job, exacerbating financial problems.
Overall though, more consumers are successfully paying their credit card and other bills every month, leading to fewer delinquencies and charge offs for credit card lenders.
Image by Cliph, via Flickr