Renters Report Greater Financial Worries Since the Start of COVID-19 According to NFCC and BAI Survey

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(Washington, DC) Since the beginning of this year, millions of Americans have faced mounting financial challenges as they sheltered in place. A survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling®(NFCC®) and BAI highlights the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the months following the NFCC 2020 Consumer Financial Literacy, conducted in March and sponsored by Discover. Both surveys were conducted by The Harris Poll among over 2,000 US adults and track key areas of personal finance behavior and knowledge among American adults. The latest findings draw attention to the divergent realities faced by renters and homeowners in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to the May survey, renters are more likely than homeowners to say they have any financial worries (76% vs. 61%), pointing primarily to insufficient “rainy day” savings for an emergency (18% vs. 11%). Overall, the gap between renters and homeowners as it relates to financial worries has grown since the pandemic reached the United States.

“The road to recovery continues to pose significant challenges for millions of families,” said NFCC President and CEO Rebecca Steele. “Our survey results send a clear message that more needs to be done to address the financial concerns and struggles among the population of renters, especially as Americans work to regain financial stability.”

Debt management is also a growing issue for all Americans as more than half (55%) find some factors make it more difficult to minimize their debt, most commonly due to reduction of income (22%), which has increased significantly since both March 2020 (19%) and March 2019 (17%). Renters are more likely than homeowners to say something makes it more difficult to minimize their debt (63% vs. 52%) and are twice as likely to cite job loss (21% vs. 10%).

“Financial services organizations working together to support nonprofit credit counseling can continue to play a key role to resolve ongoing financial hardships resulting from lack of savings and unmanageable debt,” said BAI President and CEO Debbie Bianucci and Chair of the NFCC Board of Trustees.

Anyone seeking answers to personal finance questions or in need of direct assistance with special repayment programs should reach out to a nonprofit credit counseling agency by visiting or by calling toll-free 800-388-2227.

View NFCC financial health research and survey data.

Bruce McClary
(202) 677-4301 – Direct
(202) 780-5432 – Cell

About the Survey
The 2020 Financial Impact of COVID Survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and BAI between May 12 and May 14, 2020 among 2,067 U.S. adults ages 18+. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For answers to questions about survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About BAI
As a nonprofit, independent organization, BAI has delivered the financial services industry’s most actionable insights for more than 95 years, enabling leaders to make smart business decisions every day. We’re passionate about the trusted information and powerful tools that provide leaders with the clarity and confidence needed to drive positive change and move the financial services industry forward. That’s why we provide in-depth, proprietary research to 30 of the top 50 banks and numerous others, support more than 2,000 financial services organizations with compliance and professional development training, provide trusted, relevant thought leadership through BAI Banking Strategies reports, podcasts and webinars, and offer specialized events and programs. For more information, visit