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Three-quarters of Canadians feeling financial stress over COVID-19: Survey

Biggest financial worry is how to pay for basic necessities such as food, rent


March 25, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

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The global pandemic is taking a toll on Canadian families, particularly when it comes to financial issues — according to a new survey.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74 per cent) said they feel some sort of stress related to COVID-19. More than 40 per cent said their biggest financial worry is  how to pay for basic necessities such as food and rent.

“We are facing a health and economic threat the likes of which we’ve never seen,” said Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of Borrowell, the financial technology firm that conducted the study.

“People are worried about their jobs, worried about how they will pay bills this month.”

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Graham said the survey is a “sobering reminder” of how precarious the financial situation is for millions of Canadians.

The study generated 16,000 responses. People were asked questions about their current financial state, with findings highlighting reduced or limited income, fear about job security and the inability to pay for basic living expenses.

Survey highlights:

  • 74 per cent of respondents report feeling stressed about their personal finances, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they are ‘extremely stressed’ to the point of losing sleep. Only six per cent of people are feeling financially secure.
  • Paying for basic necessities (like rent and groceries) tops the list as the biggest worry (41 per cent), followed by fears of increasing personal debt during this period (19 per cent).
  • 29 per cent say COVID-19 has had an “extremely negative” impact on their finances already.
  • 32 per cent of respondents have no plan in place if funds run too low to pay bills, saying “I don’t know what I would do.”