Nearly a quarter (24%) report feeling "extremely stressed" about their finances, according to the J.D Power Banking Industry Insight survey.

The survey, which involved more than 1,400 Australians and was conducted between April 28 and May 13 2020, said the short and long-term effects of the pandemic on individual finances is becoming a significant concern for many Australians. 

According to the results, 72% of respondents said the coronavirus crisis has negatively impacted their finances. Other key findings include: 

  • 39% are feeling worried or anxious often;
  • 37% are losing sleep;
  • 10% are unable to afford enough food to eat 

Stress1

Source: J.D Power 

Of concern is that 35% of respondents said they don't even think the worst is over, an outlook shared by Canadians (41%) and Americans (42%). 

Only one-fifth (17%) of respondents said the worst is behind us, 27% said the worst is right now, 35% said the worst is yet to come, while 12% said COVID-19 will not affect their finances at all.

Debt remains a problem 

The majority of Australians are struggling with their debts, as only 38% have reported a manageable amount of debt or no debt and since the pandemic began.

Nearly one-in-five (19%) of respondents said they can't meet their minimum monthly credit card repayments, while another 11% can't make both personal loan repayments and mortgage repayments. 

Recent data from the Australian Banking Association (ABA) found that the total number of loans deferred by Australia’s banks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is more than 643,000, of which approximately 392,000 are home loans.

Such an option is in-demand it would seem, and J.D Power's survey confirms this: 15% of respondents said they would like to receive info from their bank on loan payment deferrals, while 24% would like to defer monthly service fees and 16% would request to defer credit card payments. 

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest non-introductory interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
No monthly fees
  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
No monthly fees

Save Account

  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
020000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

HomeME Savings Account ($0 - $100,000)

    02001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

    Growth Saver ($1 - $25k)

      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
      For customers aged 14-35 years
      For customers aged 14-35 years

      Future Saver Account ( < $50k)

        05001$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
        • Maximum Age - 24

        Goal Saver

        • Maximum Age - 24
        010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

        Boost Saver

          00.011$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

          Reward Saver Account (31 years +) ($0-$100k)

            01000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

            Bonus Saver Account (Amounts < $100k)

              0201$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

              Reward Saver Kick Start (Amounts ≤ $1m)

                00.010$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                Life (< 30 years) (Monthly deposit)

                  5000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                  NetBank Saver

                    000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                    ANZ Save

                      010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                      Savings Maximiser (<$100k)

                        050$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                        Young Saver Account

                          0501$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                          Save up

                            010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
                            • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
                            • No account fees
                            • Easy access to your money

                            Saver Account (<$250k)

                            • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
                            • No account fees
                            • Easy access to your money
                            02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                            Bonus Saver (<$1 Million)

                              000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details

                              Smart Saver Account (Under 25)

                                Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

                                All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of May 21, 2024. View disclaimer.

                                Overall, credit cards are being relied on more in the pandemic. 

                                Over a quarter (26%) of Australians are using their credit card more for household necessities, and while 42% of cardholders say they are spending less on their credit card,  22% are using their card more often to pay household bills.

                                A number of banks have introduced relief for credit card customers in response to COVID-19. For example: 

                                Bank trust still needs work 

                                J.D. Power data shows that customers don’t believe that banks are showing the level of concern that they expect during the pandemic, and that financial institutions can and should do more to alleviate customer stress. 

                                Only 29% of customers say their bank has shown concern for their personal financial situation during the pandemic.

                                This concern is particularly prevalent among big four bank customers, as 33% (ANZ), 33% (NAB), 28% (Westpac) and 26% (CBA) of customers feel their banks should be doing more. 

                                Only 15% of customers say they have a more positive impression of their primary bank since the pandemic began, and 11% say they have a more negative impression.

                                A big reason for the negative vibes banks are giving off is a lack of communication, as only 38% of customers say they received helpful communication from their bank.

                                Meanwhile, 20% said they received communication that was not helpful and 14% say they haven’t heard from their bank but would like to.

                                Stress2

                                Source: J.D Power