Consumers can expect a spike in lending and greater access to credit in the first half of 2021, TransUnion predicts

Consumers might be able to anticipate having more access to credit cards[1] and personal loans[2] through the first half of 2021 than they did amid the onset of the pandemic, according to TransUnion’s annual consumer credit forecast[3] released today.

The dramatic slowdown of lending that we saw in the second quarter of 2020 is expected to rebound in Q2 2021, the credit bureau[4] found, with credit card and personal loan volumes expected to rise at the greatest rate.

For consumers who may need access to credit in the new year, this means that they can hopefully fund a big-ticket item or get a personal loan at a pretty low interest rate, says Matt Komos, VP of research and consulting at TransUnion.

“It’s a story of not just the rebound we expected of credit card and personal loans, but [the rebound] is going to sustain,” Komos tells CNBC Select[5], indicating that TransUnion expects lending to be at pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2021.

Here’s why that’s good and bad news — and what, as a consumer, you should be on the lookout for in the new year.

The good and bad news

TransUnion’s forecast that banks will have more confidence lending to consumers and will loosen their requirements[6] is certainly positive news for those needing credit. Yet, it relies on the expectation of improved employment and a continued economic recovery as the pandemic hopefully winds down.

“The re-opening of America and the expected addition of more jobs and increased wages will make the greatest impact on how consumers are able to manage their debts in 2021,” Komos says in the company’s press release[7].

By the second quarter of 2021, consumers will have had a year of living in this pandemic. Those who maintained employment are likely more comfortable (and looking forward to) taking on credit, so this is good news.

Many others, however, could be in an even tighter financial situation in Q2 2021, and though credit could help them make ends meet, they may worry about defaulting or getting even further behind.

1 2 3 4