On Friday, TransUnion shared its latest information about the depth and speed the coronavirus pandemic is impacting family budgets.
TransUnion reported six in 10 Americans (59%) said their household income has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — an increase of 53% from those who reported impact during the previous week.
The credit bureau indicated an additional 10% of U.S. adults said they expect their household income will suffer in the future. The newly released research from TransUnion found that consumers from the youngest generations, as well as those persons least informed about their credit, perceive the greatest financial hardship.
TransUnion explained that it has initiated a survey of adults in the U.S. and abroad to better understand the financial impact of COVID-19 on consumers. The most recent U.S. survey of more than 3,100 adults marked the second in the ongoing research.
“Whether it’s their health, financial well-being or changes in day-to-day living, the lives of tens of millions of people in the U.S. and abroad have been dramatically changed,” said Amy Thomann, head of consumer credit education for TransUnion.
“The aim of our weekly consumer research is to better understand the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and better inform consumers, businesses and government decisions during these unprecedented times,” Thomann continued in a news release.
TransUnion’s research pointed out that the youngest generations, particularly millennials and Gen Z, were most impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. While 59% of Americans said their household income was negatively affected by the virus, TransUnion discovered the percentages were more pronounced for millennials (68%) and Gen Z (63%).
Furthermore, the research showed that millennials (79%) and Gen Z (74%) were among the most concerned about their ability to pay bills and loans in the next month. This compared to 70% for all respondents and 53% for Baby Boomers.
TransUnion also acknowledged the concern is growing.
Survey responders indicated an inability in the near future to pay bills and loans averaging $1,031 — a 14% increase from last week’s average of $903. Much of the payment problems are likely due to the fact that 36% of respondents said their work hours have been reduced.
Comparatively, last week 45% of respondents said their work hours were reduced. However, this improvement is marred by the fact that 16% of respondents said they lost their job compared to 9% of the survey results uncovered a week earlier.
TransUnion also emphasized its survey findings reinforced the need for further consumer education in relation to financial options.
Of those survey respondents struggling to pay bills, nearly one quarter of the population doesn’t know what they could do to address the situation. This level of uncertainty increased to 41% among consumers that do not know their credit scores.
Of those consumers who do not know their credit scores, 80% have not contacted their lenders to discuss options, versus 63% for the overall population.
“Consumers are facing many unexpected challenges and it’s natural that people are concerned about their finances. It is clear that those with the least knowledge about their financial situation or means to act have been the hardest hit. We encourage consumers looking to minimize potential negative impacts of the pandemic on their credit to visit TransUnion’s COVID-19 website,” Thomann said.
TransUnion’s research and credit education tools will be updated in real-time on its COVID-19 website as the company continues to support consumers and businesses from around the globe.