74% Canadians Experiencing Financial Stress Due to COVID-19

Financial Stress
Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

In just a matter of days, the lives of Canadians have been completely turned upside down after being told to self-isolate at home in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

While many Canadians are fortunate enough to be able to work from home during this unprecedented time, thousands of residents have lost their jobs as provinces have been forced to close all non-essential businesses in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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And while the federal government has introduced an $82 billion financial aid package, which included benefits like EI for Canadians who are in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19, wage subsidies for small businesses to avoid potential layoffs, and even increased GST credits for lower-income families, many residents are still experiencing financial stress as a result of the coronavirus.

In fact, a new report from Borrowell revealed that 3-in-4 Canadians are currently experiencing financial stress, while 30% are ‘extremely stressed’ to the point of losing sleep over their finances as a result, while only 6% of people actually feel financially secure.

The survey found 41% of respondents said paying for basic necessities (like rent and groceries) tops the list as the biggest worry while 19% of respondents said they’re fearful of increasing personal debt during this period.

Furthermore, 29% say COVID-19 has had an ‘extremely negative’ impact on their finances already, while 32% of respondents have no plan in place if funds run too low to pay bills, saying, “I don’t know what I would do.”

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

“People are worried about their jobs, worried about how they will pay bills this month. The survey is a sobering reminder of the precarious financial situation facing millions of families as the COVID-19 crisis deepens and at Borrowell we’re committed to helping Canadians navigate this difficult financial landscape.”

Borrowell, one of Canada’s leading financial technology companies, sent the survey to its more than one million members over the past weekend and received over 16,000 responses.

Members 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.

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