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Flooding and Finances: Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Consumer Credit
This article examines consumers? borrowing behavior and debt levels in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. We find that high levels of flooding from Harvey were associated with modest increases in auto loan balances, but moderate decreases in mortgage balances. In general, the storm did not hurt consumers? credit access according to the limited measures we investigate. These results are influenced by a number of factors, including federal disaster assistance, insurance payouts, and creditors permitting temporary postponements in loan payments, with such delays not being reported to credit bureaus.