Jonathan Walker, Director of the Center for the New Middle Class, joined with the Financial Health Network to discuss how the non-prime population has been affected by COVID-19, and how to best support financial health during the crisis. The conversation focused on the policy solutions and experiences of financial service firms, servicers, lenders, consumer advocates, and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the policy solutions discussed were the CARES Act, Paycheck and the Protection Program. Walker also teased new research that will soon be released focusing on the consumer trends of both prime and non-prime consumers before COVID-19, and throughout.
Walker also explored the challenges of credit bureau reporting during a time when an unprecedented number of people need forbearance on their loans and there is little uniformity in the industry on how that should be done. The impact of this financial crisis will echo through people’s credit reports and lenders’ underwriting models well into the future.
COVID-19 has created a unique and difficult landscape for consumers, both prime and non-prime, to navigate. Walker and the Center for the New Middle Class are committed to using their research and resources to educate consumers on how to navigate it.