Data from the University of Melbourne also shows that many Aussies fall into debt from simple everyday costs such as phone, utilities and internet bills.
This is despite credit card debt falling during the pandemic, according to recent Reserve Bank data, with credit card spending dropping from $22 billion in June, to $19.5 billion in July of this year.
Lever founder Trent McKendrick said the majority don’t realise that they can negotiate with their providers, creditors and lenders, giving them debt resolution options they don’t realise are available under credit and debt regulation.
"We know that consumers look for band-aid solutions or new lines of finance like payday or debt consolidation loans when they’re faced with the pressure that comes with an outstanding account or debt demand," Mr McKendrick said.
"But the reality of these options means they end up stuck in even more debt."
Lever allows Australians to negotiate bills and debt including parking tickets, fines, utility bills, phone bills, car finance loans, and debt collection demands ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.
The Lever app offers consumers debt settlement education, options and payment plans, with instalment reminders to help stay on top of their debt.
Australians can settle a one-off debt through Lever for $11.99, or purchase an annual subscription allowing unlimited debt negotiations for $59.99.
Creditors and companies can also use Lever to settle outstanding accounts.
"By bringing the debt negotiation process online, we’re making it easier for companies and creditors, too," Mr McKendrick said.
"Their outstanding accounts can be resolved without heavy-handed tactics, creating a more positive customer experience."
Image supplied by Lever
Lever's survey had a sample size of 7,000 Australians.