Amit Seru Summarizes Household Debt Relief During the Pandemic
Between March and October 2020, required payments on nearly $2 trillion of household debt were suspended, meaning that these loans entered forbearance. Some of this debt relief was the result of government mandates in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but a substantial number of lenders also adopted voluntary private programs to support their borrowers. Susan Cherry of Stanford University, Erica Xuewei Jiang of USC, and NBER affiliates Gregor Matvos of Northwestern University, Tomasz Piskorski of Columbia University, and Amit Seru of Stanford University have studied a representative panel of U.S. borrowers through the pandemic. They estimate that 60 million borrowers have missed nearly $70 billion in debt payments as a result of forbearance programs. The researchers have also examined the distribution of the benefits from debt relief by income class, geographic region, and along other dimensions. Seru summarizes their findings in the video above.