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Troubled-debt rolls at 3% by '20's end

by The Associated Press | January 31, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2020 file photo, a woman walks past a personal finance loan office in Franklin, Tenn. According to information released Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, credit reporting agency TransUnion has found that nearly 3% of common consumer debts were in financial-hardship status at the end of 2020, illustrating that many Americans are struggling to get by financially as the pandemic wears on. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Credit reporting agency TransUnion has found that nearly 3% of common consumer debts were in financial-hardship status at the end of 2020, illustrating that many Americans are struggling to get by financially as the pandemic wears on.

While the latest number is down from a peak almost 5% in spring, it's still far above the norm.

Overall, the hardship agreements -- which can put a pause on payments or provide consumers other relief -- hit their peak in May at 4.77%. In February, just before pandemic-related closures and layoffs hit, the measure was at 1.71%.

TransUnion looked at auto, credit card, mortgage and unsecured personal loan products. It found that 2.87% were in a financial hardship agreement as of the end of December, according to information released last week.

TransUnion found that 5.36% of mortgages were in hardship status in December, down from highs of over 7% in the spring, According to the year-end data, 2.93% of auto loans, 2.42% of credit cards and 3.36% of personal loans were in such agreements.

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