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American Holiday Shopping Spree Escalates Credit Card Debt

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In a recent study, a significant number of Americans reveal that they have more debt and are in panic mode about resolving this financial epidemic. However, at the time, holiday shopping sprees have begin and could potentially hit a new record-breaking holiday spend this year. Online spending alone increased to a whopping $144 billion. Credit analysts expect that the holiday season could worsen every purchaser’s debt. 

Currently, the GDP reading depicts that the economy of the United States has increased by 1.9% for the quarter. GDP fell by 2.5 % in the year 2009, and last month’s rate of unemployment was 3.6%. That figure reached 10% in October 2009. The credit card charge-off rates increase to 10.63%, setting a high record in the third quarter of 2009, as to the 3.7% increase for the third quarter this 2019.  

These findings show improving circumstances and are encouraging Americans to take on more debt, in some cases— too much debt. 

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate.com, many Americans view themselves as more debt-burdened today as compared than they were ten years ago. 40% of the respondents with a credit card say their balances today are at its highest peak compared to their balances over previous years. 

“Generally speaking, the economy is good, the job market is good, but a lot of people are living close to the edge. That’s not a lot of progress,” Ted Rossman, Bankrate Analyst, said.

Bankrate’s survey showed that 23% of respondents with credit cards said that they are more stressed while 33% were care-free about their credit card debt now than they had been previously. 

Rossman added some of the positivity that is manifesting low debt anxiety is coming from macroeconomic factors more than the financial circumstances of people and the improvement at paying their debts. 

 “A lot of it isn’t getting paid off every month. That’s a lot of people who are paying 17 percent, 20 percent, even 25 percent — this is expensive debt.” As APRs have been steadily inching up, compound interest is compounding the risk, he stated.

Regardless of the efforts by the Federal Reserve’s trio by cutting interest rates, credit card owners have not seen significant changes and relief from high APRs. 

According to one credit card expert, the total benefit from a half-percentage point drop in interest rates would only cost $63 for borrowers with $6,000 in debt and standard credit scores paying $250 per month.

“Unfortunately, those rate cuts haven’t done a lot of ease the burden of debt. These credit card rates do remain much higher than rates we see on other types of debt. There isn’t any relief there.” Rossman said.

The Federal Reserve’s trio of interest rate cuts implemented much to help ease the burden of debt for credit card borrowers.

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Why Difficult Finding Jobs During Unemployment is a Myth

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COVID-19 isn’t the only pandemic that’s sweeping the nation. A million Americans are unemployed and are afraid of applying for work because of a myth. 

Many Americans believe that there is a stigma surrounding unemployment, and it’s making it impossible for them to find work. The number of unemployed people has reached an all-time high since the Great Depression, reaching an astounding level of 72%.

Aside from the challenge that comes with returning to the workforce, many people fear that the stigma around unemployment will make it difficult for them to get a job.

According to research, 84% of Americans believe that there is a stigma surrounding unemployment, and ⅔ of this population are worried that the said stigma is hurting their prospects of finding a job.

However, people’s opinion on unemployment has changed. 96% of hiring managers say that they are highly likely to hire people who were fired because of the pandemic. Here are three things you can do to make it easier to get a job:

Don’t let your worries overwhelm you from taking your opportunity.

If your career path isn’t clear, then it might be time to make a pivot in your career. The best way to begin your career change is by understanding the skills you have available and how they overlap with different roles. A great example is that people who have experience in the food industry have sales skills, which is one of the careers in demand. 

Study skills that are needed for the million jobs being created.

Online learning has never been so popular until now. Since the start of the pandemic, millions of LinkedIn users have consumed over a million hours of learning content every week. They have been able to add 140 million new skills to their profiles since March. 

Data from LinkedIn shows that jobs like software engineers, project managers, and financial analysts have grown in popularity in the span of several years and are some of the most in-demand positions that employers are looking to fill.   

Don’t be ashamed of your situation.

50% percent of unemployed people share that they are looking for work. At the same time, the other half of the population says that they are too embarrassed to share their employment status. 

However, research shows that 73% of people are hired after sharing their situation through connection or personal introduction. 84% of LinkedIn members say that they are more likely to hire people who lost their jobs during the pandemic if they are introduced personally.

Don’t worry.

If you are part of the population that got laid off because of the pandemic, you should work on your skills and apply for work. It might be intimidating at first, but many companies are looking for people to fill positions, and you shouldn’t be worried about myths surrounding unemployment and work. 

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How the Pandemic Is Killing Small Businesses with False Hopes of Reopening

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With the ongoing pandemic, many businesses—both big and small—are severely affected by declining demand from consumers. With everyone currently living amidst the virus, small businesses are slowly reopening. Here is why some small businesses do not thrive in this type of market.

It can be expected that an economic downturn will happen with the ongoing pandemic. The question is, until how long? With the threat of the virus still looming above everyone’s head, small businesses are forced to reopen because of near-empty financial gains. With the current market, however, financial games are more difficult to attain more than ever. First, people are more cautious than ever to leave their residences because of health and safety concerns. Even if small business establishments have reassured people that they have enough social distancing protocols, people are hesitant because of the virus’s ongoing threat. Second, because businesses and companies are starting to shut down because of low financial gains, many people are unemployed. They prefer to invest their money in purchasing essentials instead of wasting it on entertainment and other non-essential items.

Let us look at some small businesses and how the pandemic has slowly killed their economy.

How Small Businesses Are Losing the Financial Battle with the Pandemic

Small Businesses Losing Steam

One of the main attractions of Chicago is Navy Pier. It is a perfect way for people to relax and unwind with its many attractions that boast of various food establishments, entertainment areas, shopping districts, and rides! The Pier closed during the March quarantine lockdown and reopened in June 2020. However, even with many safety and social distancing protocols, the Pier only garnered 15% attendance compared to the previous year. Because of low profit, it shut down again during Labor Day and plans to reopen in 2021 when things are (hopefully) in a more stable condition. 

One of the reasons why the reopening businesses cannot save the economy is that even if these amenities are open, the demand for them to stay open clearly isn’t there with most people wanting to stay indoors or that they cannot simply afford these types of luxuries.

Small Businesses Flourishing

AltCap is a financing and loaning agency that has supported numerous businesses amidst the pandemic. According to AltCap CEO Ruben Alonso III, the pandemic’s effects have affected businesses across the board – with other small businesses permanently shutting down while others are flourishing. For example, a cotton candy business that was thriving well before the pandemic. When the pandemic hit, and the cotton candy business was affected, it evolved into something new! The dessert business was converted into a dessert tricycle that popped at local restaurants and coffee shops, serving sweet treats. With this fast and innovative way to still sell sweet treats, the business flourished and had enough money to set up a storefront space. 

It pretty much boils down to small businesses adaptability, innovation, and flexibility to transform according to the consumers’ needs and demands.

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Apartment Rates Are Plunging Quickly in World’s Richest Cities—Time to Negotiate!

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If you live in an upstate part of a rich city such as Sydney, New York, Vancouver, and Tokyo, it is time for you to sit down with your landlord and negotiate the rate for your apartment. Read on why you need to do this NOW with the current market.

With the ongoing pandemic, bed and breakfast, Airbnb’s, and transient houses have minimal to no revenue as travel opportunities ceased with government travel regulation and social distancing protocols. With all this happening, the market for apartment rates is spiraling downwards. Aside from this, the main demand for upscale apartments is international students who are now stuck at home due to the quarantine. Hence the demand for chic apartments in rich cities is much lower as compared to previous years. Also, millennial renters who are also stuck at home no longer have the motivation to pay additional for cool spaces when the city’s usual hustles and bustles, which ordinarily attracted them in the first place, is non-existent because of the pandemic. 

If you live in an upscale apartment in some of the world’s richest cities such as Sydney, New York, and San Francisco, it is time to act now and initiate a conversation with your landlord about rent rates, especially with the ongoing pandemic.

Apartment Market Trends in World’s Richest Cities

Sydney, Australia

One of the renters who took advantage of the current market value and trend of plunging apartment rates is Christine Chung from Sydney, Australia. She negotiated a 9% drop in her current space at the classy Enmore (10km away from the city) that she shares with three other tenants in Sydney, one of the world’s most expensive cities. She recounts that the process is not easy – she had to track down and wear down the landlord for five weeks of avoided phone calls until the landlord agreed to reduce the rent from AUD895 to AUD810 every week. 

Manhattan, New York

Manhattan is considered one of the prime destinations for apartment real estate. However, with the ongoing pandemic, Manhattan apartments had sunk to the rate back in 2013! Listings for available Manhattan apartments and studios have tripled during the pandemic with a lack of tenants or renters due to closed entertainment establishments. Another lure of tourists and tenants to be in Manhattan is its rich Broadway culture. However, with Broadway cinemas closed until May of 2021, the market to support this culture is also surging fast.

San Francisco, California

In the past, San Francisco was considered as one of the bustling metropolitan areas for millennials who want a taste of San Francisco energy. San Francisco faced a housing issue not too long ago, where Silicon Valley workers had to rent RVs to work in the city! With companies encouraging employees to work from home next year (and maybe permanently), rent prices are splurging downwards. The median rent for San Francisco had a 31% decline, as compared to a .5% decline across the US.

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