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Consumers, Flush With Stimulus Money, Shun Credit-Card Debt

When unemployment soared this spring at the start of coronavirus lockdowns, credit-card debt and delinquencies were widely expected to surge as struggling households borrowed more to make ends meet.

Instead, amid the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the opposite happened. Credit-card debt in the U.S. and other advanced economies has fallen. Fewer people are late on their credit-card payments. Consumer demand for new borrowing—through credit cards, personal loans and even pawnshops—is down sharply.

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