Discussion Paper

U.S. Consumer Debt Payments and Credit Buffers on the Eve of COVID-19


Abstract: Today, the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for 2020:Q1. Because consumer debt servicing statements are typically furnished to credit bureaus only once during every statement period, our snapshot of consumer credit reports as of March 31, 2020 is, in effect, largely a pre‑COVID‑19 view of the consumer balance sheet. While significant indications of the pandemic are yet to appear in our Consumer Credit Panel (CCP—the data source for the Quarterly Report, based on anonymized Equifax credit reports), we are able to observe the credit position of the American consumer just as the pandemic and associated lockdowns struck the United States.

Keywords: COVID-19; household finance; consumer credit panel;

JEL Classification: D14;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Liberty Street Economics

Publication Date: 2020-05-05

Number: 20200505