Study: Consumers disproportionately suffered the financial impacts of COVID-19

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FORT WORTH, Texas – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Elevate Credit, Inc. (NYSE: ELVT) (“Elevate”), a leading technology provider of innovative and responsible online lending solutions for unprivileged consumers, and SpringFour, the only social impact fintech platform that helps consumers financial institutions to provide customers with the support they need to regain financial control, today announced the results of a research study examining the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. households. The study, co-authored by Elevate and SpringFour, found that the impact of the pandemic on American households was uneven, and those who struggled need support beyond what traditional financial institutions provide. .

The study analyzed data collected by Elevate’s internal think tank, the Center for the New Middle Class (“CNMC”), which surveys privileged and non-privileged consumers monthly to understand behaviors, attitudes and challenges. of this growing population. CNMC defines premiums as those with a credit score above 700 and non-premiums as those below 700. The study also analyzes SpringFour data on the demand for financial resources in more than 30 need categories, in addition data from the SpringFour survey on the impacts of the pandemic.

Among the 10,580 people interviewed by CNMC, the following main conclusions emerged:

  • About 20% of respondents reported a job loss in the past year.

  • Of the 20% who reported a job loss in the past year, 75% of senior and non-privileged respondents said the job loss or leave was due to the pandemic.

  • Overall, unprivileged consumers were much more likely to spend some of their stimulus on basic needs such as food, utilities, shelter, or medical bills.

  • About 50% of unprivileged consumers reported spending their stimulus checks on food or groceries, compared with less than a third of primary consumers.

  • Twice the percentage of unprivileged consumers spent funds on housing than primary consumers.

  • Blue-chip households were much more likely to use stimulus funds to save than non-privileged households. This suggests that blue-chip households have achieved increased financial stability and are better prepared for unforeseen expenses.

“The income volatility that has resulted from the pandemic has put many already financially vulnerable Americans in an even more difficult position. While we cannot predict when unexpected events such as the pandemic will occur, we can be better prepared. This means equipping blue-chip and unprivileged Americans with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions about their finances so they can meet their basic needs, meet their savings goals, and achieve financial stability. long term, ”said Jason Harvison. , CEO of Elevate.

SpringFour’s analysis of consumer demand data echoed CNMC’s findings, citing that the organization has facilitated 5 million referrals to nonprofits and government organizations in over 30 need categories since inception. of the pandemic. American households are looking for resources to help them pay for their basic necessities, and when unexpected funds are available, such as through a stimulus payment, consumers are likely to use them for these purposes. The authors note that if families were better acquainted with the resources that could help them pay for food, utilities, medical bills, and other basic needs, these families might be in a better position to save stimulus funds or reinvest these. dollars into the economy in other ways.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the precarious financial health of households – and has shown that banks, financial institutions and nonprofits all need to put the financial health of their customers first. When they do, everyone benefits – customers, businesses, employees and the economy. Now we all need to continue to scale up and build on this momentum because none of our clients are immune to financial challenges, ”said Rochelle Gorey, Co-Founder and CEO of SpringFour.

About the elevation

Elevate (NYSE: ELVT), working with the banks that license its marketing and technology services, has to date granted $ 9.2 billion in unprivileged credit to more than 2.6 million non-privileged consumers. privileged customers and has saved its clients over $ 8.5 billion over the cost of payday loans. Its responsible and technological online lending solutions provide immediate relief to today’s customers and help them build a brighter financial future. The company is committed to rewarding borrowers for good financial behavior with features like interest rates that may drop over time, free financial education, and free credit monitoring. Elevate’s suite of revolutionary credit products include RISE, Elastic and Today Card. For more information, please visit http://www.elevate.com.

About SpringFour

SpringFour is a Certified B Corporation and social impact fintech focused on delivering financial health resources to consumers through an innovative call center and direct-to-consumer digital solutions. In 2020, SpringFour provided over 3.2 million referrals to over 20,000 local nonprofit and government resources to help consumers improve their cash flow, payment performance, and financial well-being.

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