Report shows huge increases in Hawaii households unable to pay mortgages, credit cards

Report shows huge increases in Hawaii households unable to pay mortgages, credit cards

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow in the islands, with more than 220,000 layoffs and many workers facing tough decisions about how to get the basics.

The financial pain is also now beginning to show up on credit reports.

A new analysis from Transunion shows a growing number of Hawaii families are unable to make mortgage, credit card, or car loan payments — in a worrisome sign that the road to economic recovery will be a lengthy one.

The report analyzed the state-by-state percentage of credit accounts in “hardship,” which means the account balances aren’t getting paid because of a declared disaster.

Some accounts are delinquent while others are in forbearance or have had payments deferred.

Perhaps most worrisome: The percentage of mortgage accounts in Hawaii in hardship was 6.3% in April — up 1,717% from a year ago and of the highest rates in the country.

In March, just .1% of Hawaii mortgages were in hardship.

[Read the full report by clicking here.]

The percentage of credit card accounts not getting paid is also way up.

Graphic showing the increases in number of accounts in hardship from April 2019 (white bar) compared to with April 2020 (blue bar).
Graphic showing the increases in number of accounts in hardship from April 2019 (white bar) compared to with April 2020 (blue bar). (Source: Hawaii News Now)

Some 3.3% of accounts were in the category in Hawaii last month, up from .08% a year earlier — a 3,800% increase. And car loan payments in hardship were up 500% in Hawaii last month from April 2019.

While the vast majority of credit accounts in Hawaii are being paid on time, the significant increase in people unable to make payments — over the course of a single month — means there’s likely to be more surges in the short-term.

Matt Komos, vice president of research and consulting at TransUnion, said tax refunds and the federal stimulus package may have helped families stay in the black in April. But that money has long run out.

“A critical component to the future of consumer credit is a better understanding of how loans that have been deferred will be repaid,” he said, in a news release.

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