CFPB: Credit Applications Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Credit applications have largely rebounded to their pre-pandemic levels after a significant drop during the crisis, though there was substantial variation in the path to recovery for different credit types, according to a new research brief from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today.

For example, auto loan inquiries experienced a precipitous drop of 52% by the end of March 2020, but began rebounding by mid-April of that year, before stagnating over the summer and seeing additional fluctuation through year-end. Auto loan inquiries saw a significant jump that coincided with a new round of economic impact payments in March 2021. Mortgage loan inquiries, meanwhile, experienced a smaller initial drop than other credit types, and showed a pronounced recovery by May 2020, after which they followed similar seasonal patterns to previous years.

The report also included an analysis of credit applications by credit score, as well as a look at credit applications across states.