New J.D. Power study: Inflation affecting consumers’ financial wellbeing

As inflation remains elevated and consumers face persistently higher prices for goods and services, nearly two-thirds—64%—of them are now considered “financially unhealthy,” according to new data released by J.D. Power. In a survey of bank customers, respondents’ overall level of satisfaction with their current financial condition reached a 12-month low, and the share of bank customers classified as financially healthy fell 11 percentage points during that period.

Seven in 10 consumers acknowledged that price increases are outpacing increases in their income, leading many to seek out additional sources of funds, such as personal loans. J.D. Power found that 34% of consumers that applied for a personal loan in the past 12 months did so to supplement income due to lost wages. That figure was just behind the 39% who said they applied for personal loan to pay off debt—the most common reason cited for doing so.

The survey also suggested a lack of awareness among bank customers about how their bank could help them manage their debt; two-thirds said they were unaware of debt management assistance offered by their bank. That figure was even higher among customers over the age of 40 (78%), customers whose financial health is stressed (76%) and customers whose financial situations are vulnerable (72%).