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Consumer Pulse Wave 15

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TransUnion's Wave 15 US Consumer Pulse Study Released

We’ve just released the latest TransUnion US Consumer Pulse Study — a quarterly survey exploring how consumers’ personal finances have changed and what changes they expect in the future. Here are the key takeaways:  

  • The percentage of consumers stating they are financially impacted by COVID-19 has increased for the second month in a row to 57% (+3 pp), and the hardship gap across income groups is at its greatest level since March. Lower-income consumers (<$50,000 annually) report a 7-point increase in impact (62%) to the highest level, while impact among higher-income consumers ($100,000+) dropped 2 points to 53%.
  • More impacted consumers report losing their jobs (+2 pp to 21%), with job loss three times higher among lower-income consumers compared to those with higher incomes (29% vs. 10%). In contrast, higher-income consumers are more likely to have had their hours reduced (50%) than lower-income consumers (34%). Sixteen percent of middle-income ($50,000–$99,999) report job loss and 45% report reduced hours.
  • At the highest level of this study, one in five impacted consumers report they don’t know how they will pay their bills and loans. Twenty-eight percent of lower-income, 15% of middle-income and 5% of higher-income impacted consumers indicate they don’t know how they will pay. Impacted higher-income consumers are more likely to be tapping savings and using credit products to pay bills. They are also more likely to have an accommodation on a bill or loan (52% vs. 25% lower-income). Nearly half of impacted lower-income consumers state they desperately need a stimulus check to get by, versus 23% of impacted higher-income consumers. Understandably, impacted lower- and middle-income consumers are less optimistic about the future (46% and 50%, respectively) than those with higher incomes (68%). They are also less likely to plan major purchases in the next three months, with marked differences in planned home improvement, vacation and holiday gift spend.