Discussion Paper

Consumer Credit Card Payment Deferrals During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Abstract: In response to the economic hardships stemming from COVID-19, many U.S. card-issuing banks offered measures to assist their customers who were financially affected by the pandemic. Unlike previous disaster assistance programs that were typically short in duration and localized, the COVID-19 pandemic affected millions of consumers across the country for a protracted period of time and required application of broad-based relief measures. These measures, along with federal and state stimulus and benefit payments, provided some stability to many consumers’ financial circumstances during the pandemic. It is important to consider how effective these measures have been at stabilizing consumer finances not just for those for whom these programs served as a bridge, but for those consumers who continue to need support after the programs have expired. This paper discusses several aspects of one relief measure implemented by banks during the pandemic: consumer credit card payment deferrals.

Keywords: household finance; consumer credit; credit cards; payment deferral; COVID-19;

JEL Classification: D14; G01; G28; G51; G41;

https://doi.org/10.21799/frbp.dp.22.01

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Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers

Publication Date: 2022-02-08