The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes the following provisions of particular interest to members of the consumer financial services industry:
Credit Reporting. Section 4021 (Credit Protection During COVID-2019) amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to impose new COVID-19 related reporting requirements on furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies. Under Section 4021, if a furnisher (for example, a financial institution that lends money to consumers) makes an accommodation with respect to one or more payments on a credit obligation or consumer account, the furnisher should continue to report the account as current if the consumer fulfills the terms of the accommodation. However, for accounts that were already delinquent before the accommodation was made, then the furnisher is permitted to continue reporting the account as delinquent unless the consumer brings the account current. This new reporting requirement does not apply to consumer accounts that have been charged off. These furnisher responsibilities will apply to reporting on accommodations made to consumer accounts between January 31, 2020 until 120 days after the end of the COVID-19 national emergency.
Higher Education and Student Lending. The CARES Act contains several provisions related to higher education, some of which pertain to student loan relief, which are described below: