LendingTree and Stash Examine COVID-19's Impact on Consumers' Personal Finances Through Three-Part Survey Series

October 21, 2020 at 10:31 AM EDT
The three-part report highlights the pandemic's impact on everything from spending and saving to investing and retirement

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- LendingTree, the nation's leading online financial services marketplace, and Stash, the all-in-one personal finance app helping +5M Americans1 reach their financial goals, today unveiled a comprehensive look at the coronavirus pandemic's impact on consumers' personal finances through a three-part series, painting a full picture of Americans' financial health at the peak of the pandemic through a survey of nearly 5,000 consumers.

  • Part 1 focuses on how the pandemic and its ensuing economic repercussions impacted Americans' quality of life and brought various financial challenges.
  • Part 2 dives into the ways consumers changed the amount of money they spend in different areas, and which demographics were able to stash more money in savings.
  • Part 3 highlights behavior among investors specifically, including changes to risk level, portfolio diversification and amount invested.

Key findings from the reports:

  • Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, 1 in 4 people expect to retire later than anticipated. That's especially true for those who make less than $35,000 (34%) and Gen Xers (29%), as well as Latino (30%) and Black consumers (28%).
  • People of color are facing heavy financial challenges amid the pandemic. In fact, 64% of Black consumers and 62% of Latinos cited facing at least one struggle due to the pandemic, compared with 49% of their white peers.
  • The top three things that consumers have increased spending on during the pandemic are face masks (76%), groceries and necessities (60%) and digital entertainment subscriptions (40%). The top three things that consumers have decreased spending on are dining out and/or nightlife (67%), travel (58%) and car rentals or purchases (25%).
  • More than 1 in 5 consumers (22%) began investing for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic. That includes those who aren't traditionally big investors — women (25%) and young adults (28% of Generation Zers).
  • Men were more likely to invest more money — and take more risks — during the pandemic than women. Women tended to maintain pre-pandemic levels.

"The coronavirus pandemic illuminated what we already know: most Americans' margin for financial error is tiny, and that's evident in the fact that nearly half of consumers were unprepared for the pandemic and its negative economic repercussions," said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. "The good news is many consumers learned from their lack of preparation and are more focused on building up their savings for the next emergency. Still, it's all the more clear that there is a massive wealth gap in this country, and some populations – especially people of color and low-income individuals – are having trouble paying this month's bills, let alone setting extra money aside."

"The last few months have been ripe with paradoxes. While some Americans seamlessly transitioned to remote work, millions of others faced unforeseen job loss. Similarly, certain groups invested their money for the very first time, while others struggled to afford everyday necessities," added Mindy Yu, director of investments at Stash. "As we continue to experience the economic fallout of the pandemic, it's clear that prioritizing and supporting Americans' financial health remains a top priority." 

For a full look at the three-part series, visit https://lp.stash.com/news/stash-and-lendingtree-team-up-to-uncover-covid-impact-on-americans-personal-finances/.

Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Stash and LendingTree using SurveyMonkey technology. The survey conducted in August 2020 was completed by 4,955 people2.

Stash is a Paid Partner of LendingTree, LLC NMLS# 1136. LendingTree is a minority Shareholder of Stash.

About Stash
STASH is pioneering the future of personal finance by building an all-in-one financial home that combines banking, investing, advice, and technology to help anyone create a better life—no matter their network or net worth. Unlike traditional financial institutions, STASH is solving the personal saving and wealth crisis by helping over 5 million Americans avoid fees, take control of their finances, and achieve their goals. Rather than offer individual financial products, STASH offers all-in-one subscriptions that prioritize affordability, accessibility, education and simplicity and include personal investment accounts, Traditional and Roth IRAs, custodial investment accounts, banking services, checking accounts and debit cards. STASH has also given away over 16 million fractional shares through the world's first Stock-Back® rewards program. (*Bank Account Services provided by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC.) Based in New York City, STASH launched in October 2015 by Wall Street veterans, Brandon Krieg and Ed Robinson. For more information, visit www.stash.com.

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, by comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search and choosing the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards, insurance and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on our network and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support. For more information, please visit www.lendingtree.com.

1This is not an endorsement or a statement of satisfaction by any Stash client and is defined by the number of clients who have e-signed. Stash offers access to investment and banking accounts under each subscription plan. Each type of account is subject to different regulations and limitations. See the Advisory Agreement and the Deposit Account Agreement for more information.

2Of the 4,955 individuals who completed this survey, 51% identified as men, 47% identified as women, 1% identified as nonconforming/nonbinary and 1% didn't disclose.

Generations are defined as the following as of August 2020:

  • Gen Z: Ages 18 to 24
  • Millennial: Ages 25 to 43
  • Gen X: Ages 44 to 55
  • Baby boomer: Ages 56 to 74
  • Silent generation: Ages 75 and older

Of the respondents, 14% identified as Latino, 62% identified as white, 21% identified as Black, 5% identified as Asian, 3% identified as American Indian or Alaska Native, 1% identified as Middle Eastern or Northern African, 1% identified as Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and 5% identified as other. (Respondents were able to select all races that applied.)

Of the respondents, 24% reported earning less than $35,000 in annual household income, 18% reported earning between $35,000 and $49,999, 21% reported earning between $50,000 and $74,999, 15% reported earning between $75,000 and $99,999, and 23% reported earning $100,000 or more. (Totals don't add up to 100% due to rounding.)

Media Contacts:
Megan Greuling
megan@lendingtreenews.com

Vera Hanson
vera.hanson@stash.com   

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SOURCE LendingTree.com