CFPB examines credit applications recovery

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) maintains consumer auto loans, new mortgages, and revolving credit cards applications have returned to pre-pandemic levels by May 2021.

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“While consumer credit applications have generally recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the aggregate, we see important differences across consumers,” Acting CFPB Director David Uejio said. “Both borrowers with super prime and subprime credit scores are still not applying for credit as much as they were pre-pandemic. We will continue to keep a close watch on the marketplace as the economic recovery continues, to help ensure all consumers have access to financial products and services that are fair, transparent, and competitive.”

Per the analysis, auto loan inquiries experienced a drop of 52 percent by the end of March 2020 and returned to the pre-pandemic trend by January 2021; new mortgage credit inquiries revealed a smaller reduction in March 2020 in comparison to other types of inquiries and then increased; and inquiries have exceeded their usual, seasonally adjusted volume by 10 to 30 percent – with the action being attributed to high activity in the mortgage market throughout the pandemic.

The CFPB indicated the report was generated through its Consumer Credit Panel, a sample of credit records maintained by one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (NCRAs).

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