Percentage of Consumers with Financial Accommodations Remains Elevated
TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) latest Financial Services Monthly Industry Snapshot Report finds that approximately 2.87% of accounts in the auto, credit card, mortgage or unsecured personal loan industries remained in some form of financial hardship status at the end of December 2020. The percentage of accounts in financial hardship continue to decline from a peak of 4.77% observed in May 2020.
TransUnion’s financial hardship data includes all accommodations on file at month’s end and includes any accounts that were in accommodation before the COVID-19 pandemic. While the percentage of accounts in this status has decreased, the declines have slowed in recent months.
Furthermore, TransUnion consumer research has found that repayment preferences vary among surveyed consumers with loan accommodations. For instance, approximately 25% of consumers want to resume regular payments and work with the lender to extend the length of the loan; 19% of consumers want to extend the accommodation; and 17% of consumers would like to create a repayment plan to catch up while making larger payments.
Accounts in Financial Hardship Status Declining, but Still Elevated
*Note that peak levels for auto loans and personal loans took place in June 2020 and in May 2020 for credit cards and mortgages.
To better assist the lender-borrower dynamic, TransUnion has introduced the CreditVision® Acute Relief Suite. The Suite enhances support for consumers with accommodations, allowing lenders to develop effective customer management strategies across the account lifecycle. It also affords consumers more opportunities to work with their lenders to ensure they can repay their loans when coming out of accommodation.
“There are still hundreds of thousands of consumers in some form of financial hardship status, and the more lenders can do to understand their customers’ financial situations, the better they can assist them and build trustworthy, long-lasting relationships,” said Jason Laky, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s financial services business. “We’ve worked with many lenders in the past six months to ensure they are identifying and supporting consumers who may need financial help. As we begin 2021, and accommodation programs begin to expire in March and April, these insights will be especially beneficial to lenders and consumers alike.”
The CreditVision Acute Relief Suite features trended credit attributes that identify credit relationships and payment behaviors for consumers previously or currently in relief status during acute economic conditions.
The Suite provides lenders and insurers with greater access to critical insights that improve their ability to understand how consumers and their accounts have been impacted. It includes details broken out by different credit products, the timing of when the accounts were reported in these statuses, and the balances of those accounts.
“These are challenging times that call for innovative strategies. The effective use of solutions combined with approaches already set forth by businesses and lenders will be major determining factors for enabling a thriving consumer credit market and empowering economic opportunity for consumers in 2021,” concluded Laky.
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