A new survey conducted by Toronto FinTech startup Borrowell has found that three in four Canadians are experiencing financial stress due to COVID-19.
Borrowell, which offers a number of financial services, including loans, mortgages, credit, investing, and insurance, reached out to its customers and received 16,000 responses. The survey outlined how individuals are feeling as the global pandemic is having a major effect on economies, small businesses, and therefore individuals.
“We are facing a health and economic threat the likes of which we’ve never seen.”
– Andrew Graham, Borrowell
“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.”
Almost three quarters (74 percent) of respondents reported feeling some degree of stress about the crisis, with over 40 percent reporting their biggest financial worry being how to pay for basic necessities such as food and rent. Nearly 30 percent of respondents reported extreme stress.
The survey asked questions about people’s current financial state, finding that many households are seeing a reduced or limited income and have fears around job security and the inability to pay for basic living expenses. Of those surveyed, 32 percent have no plan in place if funds run too low to pay bills.
Borrowell, founded in 2014, offers free credit score and report monitoring, automated credit coaching tools, and AI-driven financial product recommendations. It operates with the aim of making financial stability possible for everyone. In 2019, Borrowell topped one million users, around the same time closing a $20 million Series B co-led by White Star Capital and Portag3 Ventures.
Economic measures being taken to help curb the spread of COVID-19 have had a major impact on the Canadian economy, from layoffs to severe drops in revenue. A recent survey of small businesses found an average revenue decline of more than 63 percent, with an average of six employees being laid off.
A number of business organizations have called on various levels of government to increase measures that will support small businesses. Canadians tech CEOs have expressed concern that the current steps made by the federal government do not go far enough to support the innovation sector, with other organizations trying to find ways to get available capital into the hand of businesses that need it the most.
Image courtesy Borrowell