Financial impacts due to COVID-19


Around 16% of Americans have increased their debt, survey shows

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Many Americans have seen dips in personal income and an increase in debt, according to a new Bankrate survey.

The reason? The new coronavirus pandemic.

The Bankrate survey asked 2,653 Americans about their debt (mortgage, auto, credit card, personal loan and student loan), savings and household income.


  • 30% experienced a decrease in household income
  • 1 in 5 workers applied for unemployment
  • Nearly 43%, Generation Z (ages 18-23) saw income decline vs 10% with an increase
  • More than 32%, millennials (ages 24-39) saw income decline vs 18% with a gain
  • About 35% of Generation X (40-55) saw incomes decline, compared to 8% who had gains
  • Around 25% of boomers (ages 56-74) saw income fall, compared to 9% with an increase
  • Around 13% of the Silent Generation (ages 75+) saw a decrease in income, against about 7% with a gain
  • For many, unemployment benefits don’t begin to make up for lost wages


  • 19% have more savings now that before the pandemic
  • 19% have less in savings
  • 39% have about the same
  • 24% had no savings before the outbreak or none currently


  • 16% have more debt than before pandemic
  • About 12% have less debt
  • 51% is about the same
  • Nearly 22% said they had no debt before and have none now



  • Almost 6 percent of respondents say they have more auto debt.
  • About 12 percent have less debt.
  • Nearly 31 percent say their debt is about the same.
  • Almost 52 percent say they did not or do not have debt.


  • About 17 percent of respondents said they had more credit card debt.
  • Almost 18 percent said they had less credit card debt.
  • Nearly 44 percent reported having about the same amount of debt.
  • More than 21 percent reported they had no card debt.


  • About 8 percent report they have more personal loan debt.
  • Nearly 9 percent say they have less debt.
  • More than 20 percent have the same debt.
  • More than 63 percent report no personal loan debt.


  • More than 5 percent of respondents say they have more student loan debt.
  • More than 4 percent report having less student loan debt.
  • Almost 22 percent say they have about the same debt.
  • About 69 percent say they have no student loan debt.

“The pandemic is deepening the financial hardship for millions of Americans,” says Greg McBride, CFA and Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Nearly one-third of households report lower income since the start of the pandemic, with half of those same households now having more debt and they are three times as likely to have seen their emergency savings also decline.”

McBride said, “the financial legacy of this pandemic will be elevated unemployment, reduced household incomes, more debt and even less savings.”


This study was conducted for Bankrate via online interview by YouGov. Interviews were conducted from April 29 – May 1, 2020 among a sample of 2,653 adults. Data are weighted and are intended to be representative of all U.S. adults, and therefore are subject to statistical errors typically associated with sample-based information.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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