Four in ten Australians are experiencing some form of financial difficulty, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, new data from NAB shows.
NAB’s latest Financial Hardship report reveals a shift in how the nation feels about their personal finances with a quarter of Australians saying they’re becoming increasingly concerned about making ends meet.
NAB Executive Mark Baylis acknowledged it was getting tougher for some people financially.
“NAB will stand by Australians, just like we did during the pandemic, we are here to step in and provide support to our customers who need it,” Mr Baylis said.
Key findings from the report include:
- 1 in 3 Australians identify money as a significant cause of stress in their lives
- Not having enough money for an emergency (21%), not having enough money for food and basics (16%) and being unable to pay a bill (14%) were the most common forms of difficulty
- One in five people had missed paying a bill in the past three months, mostly energy and water bills
- More people living in rural and regional areas experienced financial difficulty than those in capital cities (33%, compared to 30%) and financial difficulty was more common among 18–29-year-olds and 30–49-year-olds than older age groups
- Despite rising interest rates, being unable to meet mortgage repayments was causing Australians the least amount of financial challenge (5%).
NAB is committed to supporting Australians in financial difficulty by:
- Providing specialised support which can include help pausing, reducing, or restructuring payments via NAB Assist
- Reaching out early to customers rolling off lower fixed rates to offer a tailored solution for their situation
- Providing more than $47 million in no-interest loans to those on low-incomes for essential purchases including household goods, education resources and vehicles. *
“We know most of our customers are in good shape but, for some Australians, financial difficulty might be an entirely new experience as a rising cost-of-living places increasing pressure on their personal finances,” Mr Baylis said.
“NAB is here to help. Our team speaks to more than 1,000 customers a day needing financial support. For most of these calls, it is the first time a customer has had to pick up the phone and say to the bank ‘I need help’, which we know can be daunting.
“Our support is designed to get our customers through the tough times, and we know that when our customers contact our NAB Assist team early, more than 95% of them are back on their feet financially within three months.
“Whether it’s no interest loans to help buy school supplies for kids or a tailored approach to rolling off your fixed loan, we’re here to help and we’ll be with our customers as long as they need us.”
Notes to editors:
- Types of financial hardship measured included unable to pay a bill, unable to pay rent on time, unable to pay medical/health bills, not having enough for an emergency, not having enough to pay for food and basic necessities, unable to meet minimum credit card repayments, unable to pay mortgage and not enough money to pay off personal loans.
- NAB Q4 Financial Hardship survey included around 2000 respondents.
- * Last year, NAB provided the capital for $47 million of no interest loans for around 68,000 Australians, together with Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, state and federal governments.
- NAB customers can apply for financial hardship support online at: Financial hardship | Support for financial difficulty – NAB