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December 8, 2023
I’m writing to you as a concerned citizen dealing with the stress of credit card interest rates that seem to be spiraling out of control. My name is Emma Johnson, and I’m a 34-year-old mother of two from Lincoln, Nebraska. Over the past year, I’ve noticed my credit card interest rates climbing higher and I’m not alone—my friends and neighbors are feeling the pinch too.
Just the other day, I read a CNBC article warning that U.S. consumers, like myself, are in for a rude awakening because of these soaring rates. It made me anxious, thinking about how my family’s budget could cope with this new reality where credit is becoming so much more expensive. The economist Carl Weinberg talked about the likely decrease in consumer spending as we all start realizing just how deep we’ve been digging into our pockets to pay off this interest. I can already sense a tightening in our own household spending.
Carl says it won’t lead us to a recession, but another expert, Monica Defend, foresees a recession shadowing us in the upcoming year. This is terrifying because I remember the strains my parents went through during the last big economic downturn. Losing sleep over whether my job in retail will be secure as consumer spending slows is becoming my new normal.
The New York Federal Reserve is reporting a rise in credit card delinquencies, and I’m scared that one day I might join those statistics. My income just isn’t stretching as far as it used to, especially with the kids’ needs growing as they do. The article painted a picture of an economy teetering on the edge of a cooling period that not even the government’s efforts, like the Inflation Reduction Act, may counterbalance.
We’re all trying to make smarter financial decisions, but the advice out there isn’t necessarily tailored for someone with my income and responsibilities. Saving has become harder since the pandemic’s stimulus helped us keep our heads above water. Now, I feel like we’re just treading water, trying not to go under.
I’m reaching out to you because you have a grasp on these financial tremors and how they ripple through lives like mine. How do we prepare for this uncertain future? Are there strategies we can employ to mitigate the impact of these rising rates on our families? I would greatly appreciate any advice or insights you could offer to help navigate these choppy financial waters.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and for any guidance you can provide.