NAB has revealed of the 570,000 customers the bank has contacted since May 2022, only 14 home loan holders needed a referral to its financial hardship support service.
For those who are referred to the NAB Assist team, more than 90% are back on their feet financially within 90 days.
NAB Group Executive Personal Banking Rachel Slade said households are coping with economic pressures in the face of 12 rate rises and high inflation.
“The rising cost of living has been challenging for Australian households, but we know that our customers remain resilient and broadly in good shape,” Ms Slade said.
The RBA has hiked official interest rates from 0.1% to 4.1% since May last year in response to surging inflation, sparking worry borrowers will face significant financial stress.
The proactive steps Aussies are taking to address financial stress
A NAB survey of 2,000 people showed many customers were increasingly becoming ‘considered customers,’ with about half re-evaluating and prioritising where they were spending to make savings.
On average, Aussies are saving $286 a month by making cutbacks and focusing their spending on the things they valued most.
The top areas where NAB customers are cutting back on spending include:
- Eating out at restaurants - 55% of people with around $115 worth of saving per month
- Skipping micro treats such as coffees or lunches and trips to the movies - around 50% of people with savings between $55-60 per month
- Fewer car journeys to save on petrol and cutting out food delivery services - around 40% of people with savings between $60-80 per month
“For some, that means keeping the daily coffee and croissant while for others that means saving on take aways to secure Taylor Swift tickets,” Ms Slade said.
“It’s about personal choice and deciding what trade-offs suit your own values and lifestyle.”
A recent study from CreditSmart also highlighted Australians’ determination and resilience in the face of rising cost of living concerns.
Of the 1,500 respondents, 90% have taken proactive steps to improve their financial situation.
CreditSmart Credit Reporting Expert Geri Cremin said many Aussies are reflecting on their spending habits and carefully scrutinising their personal budgets and expenses.
“Over the past 12 months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people checking their credit report, with 58% having now reviewed their report,” Ms Cremin said.
“This is compared to 50% in the previous August 2022 survey.
“It’s also good to see that young people are leading the way in this space with 52% of millennials checking their credit report in the last 12 months.”
Open conversations around financial support have also helped consumers improve their overall financial health.
“Banks are the most common channel that people turn to for help about how to improve their credit information,” Ms Cremin said.
“Family and friends have also grown in importance to 29%. This is a sign of the times when it comes to how comfortable we are in not only seeking advice and support, but also discussing our finances with those closest to us.”
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