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Data: New York Fed SCE Credit Access Survey; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Americans want access to more credit than they have since the pandemic began. Demand for borrowing is increasing, albeit alongside consumer jitters about being able to shoulder unexpected bills.

What’s happening: Requests for credit card applications and credit limit increases are leading the demand rebound, according to the latest credit access survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

  • Credit card application rates reached 26.5% in October 2021, up 10.8 percentage points from the low point hit last October.
  • Mortgage application rates have also exceeded 2019 and 2020 levels, though the appetite for refinancing has subsided a bit in the second half of this year.

Yes, but: Lenders may not generate more profit from the trend because while people might borrow more they are also paying off balances at a faster rate, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What we're watching: Households say that with the exception of mortgage refis they are likely to apply for even more credit over the next 12 months (think mortgages, credit cards, card limit increases and auto loans), the survey found.

  • The strengthening appetite coincides with respondents, on average, having a lower expectation for being able to cover a $2,000 emergency expense — while at the same time expecting to have to do so.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Housing gap worsens through pandemic

Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

The gap between denial rates for Black mortgage applicants and white applicants grew by 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2020, analysis of the latest federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data from Zillow shows.

Why it matters: The report out today provides more evidence that the pandemic is impacting Black Americans disproportionately.

Families won't see child tax credit payments for first time in six months

A protest in support of the child tax credit in December. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Millions of families will not receive the monthly child tax credit payments this weekend for the first time in six months as the program expired at the end of last year.

Why it matters: More than 35 million families have received the payments, according to the IRS. The payments were part of the American Rescue Plan passed in 2021 and were seen as one of the largest anti-poverty measures in modern history.

1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.