Why now isn’t a bad time to take out a car loan or mortgage

Why now isn’t a bad time to take out a car loan or mortgage

The pandemic knocked borrowers on their backs in the spring of 2020, but as the economy regained its footing, so, too, has the willingness of consumers to borrow.

Consumer applications for auto loans, new mortgages and revolving credit cards all mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels by , according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Skyrocketing unemployment a year ago crushed demand for credit. Who wanted to take on a big car payment when they were unsure whether they could make the old car payment? Or if they weren’t driving to work but instead setting up shop at home?

Auto loan inquiries, for example, plunged 52% by the end of . States in the Northeast and California, together with Michigan and Nevada, experienced the largest drops.

Many are vaccinated and back to borrowing

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Going forward, economists say the outlook hinges on the path of the virus and vaccination efforts. The jobs picture improved after progress was made getting people vaccinated and we saw strong stimulus support programs roll out of Washington.

The Federal Reserve policy committee moved Wednesday to keep short-term interest rates at the near zero level as worries about the delta variant spread. The Fed noted: “The sectors most adversely affected by the pandemic have shown improvement but have not fully recovered.”

“Despite the overall trend toward a recovery, we find that consumers with deep subprime and subprime scores still have not recovered to their pre-pandemic levels, likely in part due to a tightening of credit for these consumers,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau noted. (more…)

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