COVID-19: 62% of Aussies struggle with debt and some fear worst is yet to come

Polly Fleeting

Thursday 14 May 2020

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had an immense impact on many Aussies’ personal finances. And today, the latest numbers spoke for themselves. 

Man looking at his personal loan bill, struggling with debt due to COVID-19

This morning, data analytics and consumer intelligence company, J.D. Power’s latest Banking Industry Insight showed a whopping 62% of Australians cannot manage their debt as a result of the coronavirus

It also unveiled that 77% of people say they are feeling financially stressed during this time, with 24% indicating they are extremely stressed. 

“With many Aussies facing financially strapped times as a result of COVID-19, it’s not surprising that many are struggling to manage the debt they have,” Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont said. 

“If you are feeling financially stressed, it’s important to call up and ask your bank or lender what options are out there for you, because you may be able to get things like a repayment freeze, a rate reduction or even a pause on fees.” 

While J.D. Power’s stats also considered credit card debt and home loan debt, it showed that 11% of personal loan customers cannot make their current repayments. 

As a result, customers have been requesting personal loan repayment relief from banks and have specified that they’d like to receive more information about what options are available to them. 

According to the survey, 24% of respondents indicated they want their monthly service fees waived, while 15% would like a repayment freeze. 

RELATED ARTICLE: COVID-19: Will a personal loan repayment freeze affect my credit score?

How are Aussies feeling about their bank?

Less than a third of Australians say their bank has helped in their hour of need, with only 29% indicating that their bank has shown concern for their financial situation since the outbreak of COVID-19. 

And when it comes to big four customers, the numbers are relatively the same: 

  • ANZ: 33% 
  • NAB: 33% 
  • Westpac: 28% 
  • Commonwealth Bank: 26% 

As the full financial impact of COVID-19 is yet to be determined, it’s obvious that these numbers aren’t promising. 

In fact, 35% of Aussies believe the effect of the pandemic on their personal finances may not have peaked yet and that the worst is still yet to come. 

RELATED ARTICLE: COVID-19: Which lenders offer relief on personal loans?

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