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Financial Difficulty Has Returned To Its Pre-Pandemic Levels

The biggest rates of financial hardship since the beginning of the epidemic have been caused by spiraling living costs and the interest rate increases required to contain growing prices.
The hardship survey conducted by NAB found that four out of ten Australians are struggling financially, which is the greatest proportion seen since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The improved results for the December quarter come after three years of reported hardships steadily rising.

People who are struggling could find it difficult to make ends meet, pay their rent and bills, buy food, make their mortgage or loan payments on time, or have insufficient funds to cover an emergency.

According to the NAB report, financial stress can occur at any time and is frequently brought on by illness, losing a job, or taking on too much.

Financial strain is currently being experienced by more people as a result of the rapidly growing cost of living and interest rates.

The least significant factor in the high rates of financial stress, despite aggressive interest rate increases pushing up repayments for individuals with variable rate loans, was the inability to make mortgage payments.

Just one in twenty Australians surveyed in a study of 2000 persons reported having trouble paying their home loans, compared to one in five who had fallen behind on payments in the previous three months.

One in five people had insufficient funds for an emergency, and 16% couldn’t buy food and other necessities.
Rural and remote areas were being struck more severely than capital cities by the cost of living issue, with Tasmanians reporting the greatest rates of financial hardship of any state or territory.

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