Newton Consumer Debt at $1,500
New York- To what extent have Newton County residents been making use of the large amount of installment credit available to them? How much do they owe at the present time on the cars, washing machines, dishwashers, furniture and other equipment they have been purchasing? Somewhat more than they did a year ago, the latest figures indicate. It reflects the fact that families, locally and elsewhere, were more expansive in 1973 in their spending for high-price goods, thus adding to their installment debt.
Nevertheless, they have kept it within bounds. Because their incomes are higher than they were a year or two ago, they are in a position to carry a larger debt load. Inflation has been a drawback, however, making it harder for families to come up with their monthly payments.
According to the latest Federal Reserve report, installment debt within the United States now totals $147 billion, which is 19.2 billion more than it was a year ago.
In Newton County, based upon the average earning and expenditure locally and upon national credit reports, the installment debt locally is estimated to be $1,500 per family.
That is the average, equivalent to about 16 cents of every dollar of income, after taxes. Some families owe much more than this and others owe little or nothing.
For the entire local population, the installment debt outstandingly comes to an estimated $12,472,000. This takes into account loans for automobile purchases, credit for the purchase of other consumer goods, personal loans and loans for home repair and modernization. Not included are mortgage debt, charge accounts and single payment loans.
With repayments taking $1 out of every $6, or so out of the average family’s net income, they amount to approximately $125 per month per Newton County family.
Nationally, according to the American Bankers Association, the percentage of delinquent loans has been rising. Their latest report shows 2.69 percent of them more than thirty days past due, as compared with 2.53 percent at the same time in 1973.