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Changes in consumer financial status during the early months of the pandemic

A new analysis in our Making Ends Meet survey series looks at the early impact of COVID-19 on the financial status of consumers. The results show that fewer consumers had difficulty paying a bill in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic than one year earlier and that both credit scores and CFPB financial well-being scores increased. These improvements were largely consistent across demographics like race, ethnicity, gender, rural status, and income.

Many consumers’ financial status declined, despite the average increase. Consumers whose income or savings decreased, regardless of whether they became unemployed, were more likely than others to experience reduced financial well-being and credit scores. Credit forbearance appears to have helped consumers who were having difficulty paying bills avoid a decline in financial well-being.

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