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Reproduced from TransUnion; Table: Axios Visuals

The number of borrowers not making payments on their credit cards and auto loans rose by thousands of percentage points in April as nearly 15 million credit cards and 3 million auto loans were placed in financial hardship programs.

The state of play: The numbers have surged from March, when less than 0.01% of credit cards and about 0.6% of auto loans were in the programs, according to data from credit reporting agency TransUnion.

Yes, but: The programs allow borrowers to temporarily stop making payments, suggesting voluntary elections rather than missed payments.

The big picture: TransUnion notes that its measure of consumer liquidity has increased as forbearance programs reduce monthly minimum payment obligations and free up capital for Americans.

  • The company also notes that credit card balances are decreasing as consumers reduce spending and make larger payments.
  • Credit scores generally have been stable with overall credit ratings actually increasing with fewer consumers in the subprime risk tier.

Between the lines: Mortgage delinquency rates declined slightly, with 94.4% of loan holders current in April, up from 93.7% in March, and the foreclosure rate has ticked down from March by 9.7 percentage points.

Go deeper: "Astronomical" U.S. debt from coronavirus measures will reshape the Treasury market

Go deeper

How small businesses got stiffed by the coronavirus pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of the Tonga volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could have contaminated.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

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