CFPB Releases Report on COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Credit

The CFPB recently published a report identifying key trends from COVID-19 on consumer credit use and access.  The report analyzes data provided by the CFPB’s Consumer Credit Panel, which represents a national sample of roughly five million credit records provided to the CFPB by one of three national consumer reporting agencies.  Within this sample, the CFPB examined delinquencies and credit usage for auto loans, student loans, credit cards, and mortgage loans.

The CFPB reports that between March and June 2020 consumer delinquencies fell across all credit scores and demographics.  The report also observes that consumers received greater payment assistance across all credit usage type in March 2020 when compared to January 2020 due in part to additional forbearance and deferment options under the CARES Act.  Further, consumer credit card balances generally decreased between March and June 2020 within the sample set.  However, the report recognized that during the same period there was an increase in credit card closures and a decrease in credit limits when compared with rates before March 2020.  The CFPB also noted that student loan and mortgage borrowers reported higher levels of payment assistance than auto loan borrowers and credit card account holders between March and June 2020.  Assistance across all groups was reportedly concentrated in areas strongly impacted by COVID-19.