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Credit Scores Since the COVID-19 Outbreak

This paper analyzes the effect of forbearance programs and related credit reporting practices on consumers’ credit scores during early stages of the pandemic, using data from March through September 2020. Focusing mainly on mortgage forbearances, it finds evidence of a positive effect on consumers’ credit scores but concludes that broader improvements in credit card utilization rates particularly among consumers with low credit scores contributed more to general credit score improvements during the downturn.