April 14, 2020

What We’re Hearing – Changing Climate in Consumer Lending

Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart

CEO, Epic Research

What We’re Hearing


Today’s newsletter takes 3 minutes to read

We are monitoring trends in the consumer and small business lending segment in light of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following is data we are watching along with anecdotal information we have gathered in discussions with industry contacts.  Please email us with your ideas for future research or commentary.

Consumer Demand




Search Volume for KW Loan

  Source: Epic analysis of Google Trends

Search Volume for Student Loan

  Source: Epic analysis of Google Trends

Lender Activity


rate changes - personal loan 20200414
Source: Epic analysis of personal loan aggregator sites: LendingTree Notes: LendingTree loan amount and credit score parameters set to $10,000 and 720+. New rates taken as of Sunday, 4/12.  Prior rates measured on 4/2

  Source: Comperemedia Omni (03/01/19 – 03/31/20), as of 04/02/20; Mintel “While FS spend dips, support and creativity rise” (Apr. 2020).



Sources: Federal Reserve Economic Data; College Board; to estimate 2020 unemployment rate, Epic analyzed findings from The Unemployment Rate is Probably Around 13%, The New York Times, Economic Forecasting Survey, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. Employers Cut 701,000 Jobs in March, The Wall Street Journal (Oxford Economics projections)

Going Forward

Lenders have begun to look at the post-quarantine period, and many of our conversations reflect an aggressive posture by lenders upon re-entering the new customer acquisition market.

Please let us know what you think.

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