Pandemic credit: CFPB outlines trends in credit access, mortgages, car loans

The CFPB reported on Thursday that credit access declined during the pandemic for credit cards, but increased for mortgages and auto loans. The details were provided in a post as part of a series of reports documenting trends in consumer credit outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the early days of the pandemic, the success rate of credit card inquiries fell “dramatically” from around 45% in January 2020 to just over 30% in May of 2020. Credit card inquiry success rates have risen since May 2020, but are still well below the pre-pandemic average, according to the report. At the same time, the CFPB stated that it did not observe any corresponding drop in success rates for auto loans or mortgages.

For auto loans there was a small and transitory dip in March and April 2020, but by February 2021, the success rates for auto loan and mortgage inquiries was well above pre-pandemic levels, according to the CFPB.

Further, the volume of credit card inquiries fell substantially early in the pandemic and did not recover until March of 2021. In contrast, auto loan inquiries fell in the early months of the pandemic, but rose above pre-pandemic levels in the summer of 2020. The CFPB reported that it is possible that the consumers who were applying for credit cards in during the pandemic were not the same types of consumers as were applying for credit before the pandemic, and this may partly explain the change in success rates.

The full post is available on the CFPB website.

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