In May, we heard whispers of a dream. Articles were popping up heralding a return to normalcy and boldly predicting that new consumer habits like shopping online and saving money would not last longer than the months of lockdown. They were wrong.

It was easy then and easier now to see that states reopened too early, and so the pandemic rages on in America without even a second wave to keep it ablaze. And all that extra time locked indoors is time for the habits we’ve developed to solidify into routine. This is the new normal.

Our data shows that the usage of credit rating apps such as Credit Karma ($CREDITKARMA) have skyrocketed in recent months, reflecting that Americans overall are increasingly concerned with finance and the future in the face of COVID-19. 

 

Since March, Credit Karma’s App Store ratings have shot up from 800,000 to over 2 million and counting - a 175% increase. The sudden uptake in usage started before COVID hit US shores, but took off even faster after lockdown began in earnest.

The fact that usage of the app has shot up since February and barely tapered off is proof that all the naysayers about the duration of lockdown and the longevity of changing consumer habits were way off. Don’t let the Wall Street tickers fool you; Unemployment is still reaching new highs, businesses are going bankrupt, and little is being done at the government level to provide support to struggling families or businesses. As every penny becomes important for so many Americans, of course they’re going to download apps like Credit Karma to get a better understanding of their financial standing.

Credit Karma isn’t the only credit rating app seeing such increases. Smaller competitor Credit Sesame ($CREDITSESAME) also saw a 13% increase in App reviews since March. In other words, it’s not that Credit Karma in particular has done something to drive an increase in customers. It certainly is the biggest name in credit score apps and markets aggressively, but all that is just allowing it to attract the largest portion of the huge swaths of Americans who are becoming concerned with their credit scores due to COVID.

Credit Karma is surely popping bottles at its users increasing hundreds of percentage points in just a few short months. But in the grand scheme of things, the increased usage of such apps is both a sign of the times and a sign of the massive change in consumer behavior we’re seeing across the board. Whether it’s people filing for unemployment, moving out of big cities or checking their credit scores, Americans are becoming more money-conscious.