Study details mounting bills for consumers amid Covid-19 crisis

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Study details mounting bills for consumers amid Covid-19 crisis

By Marianne Wilson - 05/18/2020

Nearly one of three consumers (27%) is past due on at least one bill and nearly 50% will need up to a year to catch up on bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to a new study from YouGov and ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions. The study of nearly 1,400 U.S. adults analyzes the financial impacts brought about by COVID-19 and includes regional and generational bill payments breakdowns and priorities. 

While nearly half of millennials need to make bill pay arrangements or request deferrals, less than 15% (13%) of baby boomers face similar circumstances, while 31% percent of Gen Xers have similarly requested a payment arrangement.

Among all respondents, mortgage and rent are the overwhelming priorities, at 81% and 78%, respectively. This is followed by utilities at 23% and tax bills at 15%. 

  • When asked about personal financial outlooks, consumers with past due bills have different perspectives. Baby boomers are most pessimistic, expecting to take one to two years to recover. Millennials and older Gen Z are most optimistic about catching up on past due bills, expecting to do so within three months.

From a regional perspective, nearly 30% of those in the Midwest expect the longer one to two year recovery, while 53% in the Northeast expect to catch up with four to 12 months. Nearly 50% of respondents in the West expect to catch up within three months.

“With increasing job losses, furloughs and reductions of hours and pay, so many consumers are facing substantial financial difficulties—resulting in both overdue bills and bill deferrals,” said Sanjay Gupta, executive VP, ACI Worldwide. “Consumers, now more than ever, need financial flexibility. We’re seeing more billers working to accommodate and ease consumer stress and provide payment relief. However, with more than 44 percent of consumers indicating it will take four months to a year to get current with their bills, there is much more work to be done here.”

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