The Federal Reserve’s rate has been approaching zero for some time. In the current pandemic induced recession, the Fed needs to use other tools to prop up the economy…since it is loathe to go to negative interest rates.

And in the meantime many Americans are unemployed or under-employed and that $1,200 originally sent to everyone didn’t go very far. Those eligible for unemployment are hopefully getting their unemployment benefits but as we know all too well, many state systems were overwhelmed and benefit payments are late or haphazard.

So what’s happening? I imagine a lot of Americans…at least those who are fiscally able to have a credit card…are using credit cards with increasing frequency to pay for essential goods and services. And that also likely means that they are carrying balances and being charged interest charges when they don’t pay their bill in full.

Now, as I mentioned, the Fed rate is near zero. And I don’t recall hearing any credit card relief in the several pandemic relief bills out of Washington. Shouldn’t there be a movement to ‘encourage’ lenders to reduce the A.P.R on credit card debt given the cost of money to the banks and the hardships being experienced nationally?

The only changes that I’ve noticed is my card that I use for travel reduced my credit limit since I haven’t used it since January. The one that I used when traveling overseas raised the rate on currency exchanges. And I have stopped getting those courtesy checks that promise a reduced rate for a period of time…always a great way to pay off the balance on some other bank card in your portfolio they suggest.

So why are we risking even more individual financial ruin by not pressuring for better terms and rates on credit cards exactly when many Americans are suffering? Although new weekly applications for unemployment benefits are trending down, there are still nearly 20 million Americans ‘officially’ unemployed.

Why does it seem that most of the federal government pandemic financial support went to big firms…and actual individual Americans are seeing very little?

We bailed out the banks last go round…they need to kick in this time. Knock those interest rates down a peg, why don’t we?

More on the economy and businesses later.

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