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Tackling debt more important than finding love in 2021

Published on 28/01/2021

ING research reveals Aussies became more financially literate in 2020

Thursday 28th January: New research by ING Australia reveals staying on top of finances is more important than finding true love in 2021.

More than a third (36%) of the research respondents say they are prioritising being financially fit and 32% say they are concentrating their efforts on tackling debt, this year. This compares to just 11% who say they are focusing on finding love in the months ahead.

The research also reveals a large number of Aussies (70%) believe they’re financially prepared for the year ahead, with 2.9 million (15%) saying they feel more financially prepared now than ever before.

Fiona Prater, ING’s Head of Consumer Lending, says:

“What this research suggests is that the pandemic has made many Aussies take the positive step to re-evaluate their financial position, making them more prepared for any future financial uncertainty.

“In fact a quarter of respondents say that over the past 12 months they have become more financially literate and understand their personal finances better.”

Australians also seem more comfortable to talk about debt than they did this time last year. According to the research, debt has become less of a taboo with two thirds (68%) of respondents saying they’re prepared to talk about their debt. Similar ING research from January 2020 found two thirds (61%) said they’d rather open up about anything else, including relationship troubles, than debt.

“Because the pandemic affected us all, it’s made the subject of finances and debt an everyday topic.  We all know someone who has been directly or indirectly financially affected by the pandemic through no fault of their own.

“If debt problems are shared, we can share solutions. The fact that so many Aussies are prepared to talk about debt is a really good thing. It means the stigma around debt is disappearing,” says Fiona Prater.




Notes to editors

This research survey was commissioned by ING and conducted by YouGov in January 2021. The nationally representative sample comprises 1,035 Australians in total aged 18+ years distributed throughout Australia and weighted by age, gender and location to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

For more information contact Megan Landauro on 0413 317 225 or


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ING changed the way Australians bank 21 years ago by launching the country’s first branchless bank. ING now offers Australians award winning home loans, transactional banking, superannuation, credit cards, personal lending, insurance and wholesale banking services.

ING is Australia’s most recommended bank according to RFi XPRT Survey April 20 – September 20 ( n= 4,165) when compared to customers of 20 other banks operating in Australia. It is also Australia’s fifth largest main financial institution (MFI) with 6% of market share according to RFi XPRT Survey (April-September 2020) (n=31,552). MFI is defined as the bank that the consumer says is their main financial institution.

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