The U.S. government is knocking for student loan

The U.S. government is knocking for student loan

While there are talks of student loan forgiveness on the 2020 campaign trail, the Treasury Depart is stepping up its game to collect on delinquent student loans. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) points to disposable income once again coming under pressure during the first quarter of 2018. Paired with rising gas prices and renewed uncertainty over the global economy as well as the current state of US-China trade, we see the average consumer remaining in a tight spot.

It comes as no surprise to us that loan inquiries at consumer finance platform company LendingClub jumped significantly in the March 2019 quarter as consumers look to shore up their personal finance and manage existing debt levels. Disposable dollars for debt servicing take a bite out of consumer spending, which means our Middle-Class Squeeze investing theme remains an economic headwind. It does, however, bode very well for companies like Costco Wholesale, BJ’s, Walmart and Amazon that help consumers stretch their spending dollars.

Your rich Uncle Sam is calling in his chips.The U.S. government stepped up collections on delinquent student debt to $2.9 billion last year — or an average of $1,000 from 2.9 million former students and their cosigners, according to the Treasury Department. And the trend continues. In the first six months of fiscal 2019, which started Oct. 1, collections totaled $3.3 billion.

Source: U.S. Stepping Up Enforcement on Delinquent Student Loans – Bloomberg

Apple Pay now at Costco 

Apple Pay now at Costco 

The chicken or the egg problem that has been facing mobile payment adoption in the US continues to ease with Costco Wholesale joining the ranks of 7-11 and CVS Health to accept Apple Pay. It’s all about reducing transaction friction but I’d also add it’s a relief for someone like me that sometimes forgets his wallet, but not his iPhone. With Consumer Reports recently crowning Apple Pay the winner in a head to head showdown of mobile peer-to-peer payment platforms, beating out the likes of Venmo and Square, and greater retail acceptance we are likely to see greater usage in the coming quarters- a positive for Apple’s growing Services business.

 

Costco has announced that it now accepts Apple Pay at all of its US warehouse stores, and says that the payment method will be coming soon to its gas stations …

The company told CNET that contactless terminals have been installed at both store checkouts and gas stations, but the latter are not yet in use.

Costco was a notable Apple Pay holdout after 7-11 and CVS finally announced their own rollouts last month.

.A recent analyst report suggested that Apple Pay now has more than 250M users worldwide, led by international adoption. Use of the service for online payments is lagging significantly behind offline use, though a recent survey suggested that demand is there.

Source: Apple Pay now accepted at all US Costco warehouses, coming soon to gas stations | 9to5Mac