Consumer confidence fell to a five-month low in September according to a survey by Thomas Reuters/University of Michigan. Consumer confidence was also down in August compared to July. Only one in four households expects to be better off financially next year.
Americans appear to be worried that higher interest rates will lead to a worse housing market and overall economy. Applications for home loans have declined recently and while retail sales were up for a fifth straight month, the increase was less than expected for August. Back-to-school spending was expected to be lower compared to last year.
Small Business Confidence
Like consumers, small businesses are also having a difficult time being confident about their financial futures. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), jobs were cut by small businesses for the fourth straight month in August. Approximately 11% of small businesses cut their staff in August while 8% added employees. Temporary workers were reported as being hired by 9% of small businesses.
According to the NFIB report 36% of small businesses thought that the current economic situation made it not a good time to expand their businesses while 16% thought that the current political climate made it not a good time to expand their businesses. The following were rated as the top problems for small businesses in August:
- Taxes (23%)
- Government rules and regulations (21%)
- Poor sales (17%)
- Inflation (7%)
Taxes and government rules and regulations were also at 23% and 21% respectfully last year. Inflation increased from 6% a year ago while poor sales decreased from 20% last year.
Affordable Bankruptcy Options
You may not have much confidence in your financial future and may be considering bankruptcy as one of your options. The first thing you need to know is that you must complete a Credit Counseling Course before you can file for bankruptcy. The course must be completed within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy. The course must also be approved by the U.S. Trustee of the bankruptcy courts. You don’t need to search for a course provider since we offer an affordable U.S. Trustee-approved Credit Counseling Course. We have partnered with Advisory Credit Management, one of the nation’s leading approved agencies, to provide you with the Credit Counseling Course.
After you file for bankruptcy but before the bankruptcy court will discharge your debts, you must also complete a Debtor Education Course. We also offer this course. Benefits for you when you sign up to take our courses include:
- Web-based, interactive, and easy to understand courses
- Courses available in both English and Spanish
- The same price for the courses whether you take them individually or with your spouse
- Certificates of completion sent directly to you electronically