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Survey reveals two-thirds of Australians face challenges paying surprise $2k bill

Cost-of-living pressures will hit the average Australian household hard according to a new report released by funding solutions company QuickFee with many not being able to pay for unexpected bills.

Survey reveals two-thirds of Australians face challenges paying surprise $2k bill
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The survey of more than 1,000 Australians by Antenna Strategic Insights found that most Australian households would struggle to pay more than $2,000 for unexpected but necessary services such as urgent home and vehicle repairs or dental work.

The Australian Household Threshold report also revealed that any unexpected bill above $1,500 would stretch the budget for 45 per cent of Australian households.

An additional $500 would place pressure on around 60 per cent of households – almost two-thirds – who would struggle to pay a surprise bill of more than $2,000.

Bigger bills of $5,000 or above could only be paid by 28 per cent of households.

The report also found that more than half of home owners (62 per cent) were worried about their ability to pay an unexpected bill, with around a third significantly worried.

And to pay their bills, the survey found that more than half of respondents (52 per cent) would use their credit card to meet large, unexpected costs, with BNPL and personal loans other methods noted.

Other findings of the report include:

  • More than a third of Australian home owners incur interest on their credit cards.
  • One in five Australian home owners often forgo household needs as a result of a lack of sufficient disposable cash.
  • Fifty-three per cent would like the option of an instalments-style payments solution for unexpected, expensive and necessary purchases.
  • Those in the 18-34 year and 35-54 year age brackets were the most inclined to use such a solution (73 per cent and 62 per cent of each age group respectively).

The report revealed that Australians would more likely use BNPL for services such as dentistry and auto repairs (29 per cent each), followed by home improvements (25 per cent), healthcare (21 per cent), veterinary services (20 per cent), funerals (19 per cent) and home services (11 per cent).

Bruce Coombes, managing director of QuickFee Australia, said the report clearly demonstrated the financial pressures impacting Australian households despite reported increases in household savings during COVID lockdowns.

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