Young couple worried about money (Image: Shutterstock)

A majority of Americans have seen their finances affected by the coronavirus pandemic and are worried about financial instability because of the outbreak, according to a new LendingTree survey.

Qualtrics conducted the online survey on March 13 among 1,050 Americans.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said their finances had already been affected in some way by the coronavirus, with 27% reporting stock market losses and 21% saying they had spent more money on supplies than they could afford.

Seventeen percent worried about their ability to pay bills, and 10% had lost money on nonrefundable travel plans.

“The changes in consumer behavior will likely lead the U.S. into recession,” LendingTree’s chief economist, Tendayi Kapfidze, said in a statement. “After an initial boost in consumption due to preparation, spending is set to contract sharply as broad sectors of the consumer economy shut down.”

Looking ahead, 21% of all Americans in the survey and 28% of those with children under 18 expected their finances to be severely affected by the pandemic. Another 35% said their finances would be somewhat affected.

Forty percent of survey participants — including 44% of employed millennials and 51% of employed Gen Zers — said their paycheck had been hit by the coronavirus’ spread. Thirty-five percent had had their hours at work reduced or eliminated, and 5% had lost tips or commissions.

One thing COVID-19 has not shut down is bills. Forty-four percent of survey respondents said they were worried about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage. 

They were also worried about paying off credit card debt, making insurance premium payments and paying down student loan debt. And 17% were not sure they could cover the cost of treatment if they should contract the virus.

Twelve percent of Americans surveyed also expressed concern about losses in retirement accounts or other investments, another 12% about losing their jobs and 4% about finding care for children home from school.

— Check out Fed Opens Floodgates as Investors Flee to Cash on ThinkAdvisor.