More Australians struggle to make ends meet

40% have some financial difficulty, reveals NAB report

More Australians struggle to make ends meet



Four in ten Australians are currently facing some form of financial difficulty, the highest number since the pandemic began.

This is according to NAB’s latest Financial Hardship report, which surveyed around 2,000 Australians and revealed a shift in how the nation feels about their personal finances.

The report found that a quarter of Australians are becoming more and more concerned about making ends meet.

One in three identified money as a significant cause of stress in their lives, the NAB report revealed, with the most common forms of difficulty being 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%).

Furthermore, one in five said they had missed paying a bill in the past three months, with most being energy and water bills.

Financial difficulty was also found to be more common among those living in rural and regional areas, as well as among younger age groups (18 to 29-year-olds and 30 to 49-year-olds).

Interestingly, despite rising interest rates, the report found that being unable to meet mortgage repayments was causing Australians the least amount of financial challenge (5%).

NAB stands by Australians struggling to make ends meet

In response to these findings, NAB said it was standing by Australians in financial difficulty by providing specialised support such as pausing, reducing, or restructuring payments via NAB Assist.

The bank says it will also reach out early to customers rolling off lower fixed rates to offer a tailored solution for their situation.

NAB executive Mark Baylis (pictured above) acknowledged the increasing difficulty that some Australians are facing financially, stating that NAB was committed to standing by its customers and providing support just as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” 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.”

NAB has already provided more than $47 million in no-interest loans to those on low-incomes for essential purchases, including household goods, education resources, and vehicles. Customers can apply for financial hardship support online at the NAB website.

“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,” Baylis said.

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