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New! Equifax Consumer Credit Confidence Survey Results

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Roughly two-thirds of Americans are concerned that their personal finances could suffer further over the next six months as a result of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic and are reeling from the related financial and emotional impact, according to the results of the Consumer Credit Confidence Survey, a new bi-weekly tracking survey conducted by Equifax.

The survey seeks to measure how respondents feel about their personal finances and overall prospects as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds.

The survey, conducted in mid-April, found that 20% of respondents experienced either a temporary or permanent layoff as a result of Covid-19, and the most troubling issues they’re dealing with are the mandatory social distancing policies (59%) and the fear of becoming ill from the virus (56%).

Respondents have other concerns: Nearly 40% are worried about their investments; 25% have job insecurity; and 14% have seen their retirement plans upset or are concerned about their ability to pay monthly expenses. Additionally, 4% of respondents report feeling ill from the virus.

Survey respondents’ concerns regarding COVID-19

When it comes to current financial obligations, the vast majority of respondents (81%) report being able to make all of their payments, including mortgage or rent (58%), credit card debt (46%) and automobile loans/leases (34%).

Yet some consumers are worried about being able to meet all of their upcoming financial obligations. Of those with medical bills, 27% are concerned about being able to pay them. Roughly 20% of those with student loans, personal loans or college tuition bills are worried about making those payments. Just 15% of consumers with credit card debt are concerned about covering those bills, while 18% of renters question whether they will be able to pay their rent. Just 7% of homeowners with a mortgage are nervous about making their monthly payment.

Those surveyed say they expect to spend more money in the coming months on groceries (58%) and household goods (36%), while cutting back significantly on clothing (62%) and digital subscriptions (44%).

The beginning of 2020 looked rosier for many Americans. Nearly 70% of respondents say they were employed and their personal finances were stable prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. About 3% say they were unemployed at the start of the year and were looking for work, while an additional 2% say they were unemployed but not looking for work. The survey revealed that 25% of Americans are worried now about job insecurity, while slightly more than half (51%) believe their personal finances will stabilize in the next six months.

The Equifax Consumer Credit Confidence Survey was conducted online and balanced so that gender, age group, employment status and region represent individuals over 18 years of age in the United States per census estimates for 2010.

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