How Do Americans Expect COVID-19 to Impact Their Finances?

Economy

  • Survey reveals 41% think coronavirus will have a high impact on financial health in six months
  • 41% say the U.S. economy is in a recession
  • Around half are worried about affording food, expect to miss bill payments

Forty-one percent of Americans believe COVID-19 will highly impact their financial situation six months from now, according to a new survey by debt resolution company Freedom Debt Relief and Atomik Research. Thirty-nine percent said the impact would be moderate and 15% expect a low impact.

"What we found out is that Americans are reporting notable changes in their current financial situations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Even those who have not yet experienced effects are anticipating a negative impact on their personal finances and on the U.S. economy going forward," said the report. Forty-one percent of those surveyed think we are in a recession right now, while an additional 37% think we will enter a recession within six months.

Read more: How the $2 Billion Stimulus Bill Affects You

Answers also revealed that Americans are concerned about meeting basic expenses right now. Fifty-six percent said they are concerned about being able to afford to feed themselves and their families and 45% are struggling to make rent or mortgage payments. Sixty percent said part of the government’s stimulus checks would go towards groceries and 48% said some would be used to pay for utilities. Thirty-eight percent have less than $500 in in savings and checking (excluding retirement accounts). As for the next six months, almost half expect to miss payments on some bills and 41% expect to sell some assets. 

U.S. weekly job claims touched a record 6.6 million for the week ended March 28 as more states issued stay-at-home orders and businesses were forced to close. The St. Louis Fed estimates unemployment could jump to 32.1% as 47 million Americans lose jobs.

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