Financial tensions are impacting workers in Ireland, prompting them to borrow money, overdraft or access payday loans, a new investigation has found.
A study commissioned by Wagestream, Ireland’s premier income streaming app that gives employees access to a percentage of their own wages earned before payday, found that more than three-quarters (78%) of workers say they feel financial difficulties before the arrival of their paychecks.
Almost two in five workers (39%) say they need to borrow money before the end of the month with some frequency.
Almost one in five workers (18%) say they have used or thought about using a payday loan company to fill a financial gap, with 6% saying they have actually used a payday loan company in the past.
Almost half (48%) of workers say financial difficulties forced them to cancel activities with family and / or friends, while more than two in five workers (44%) say financial difficulties resulted in stress and pressure at home.
Young workers aged 18 to 24 (26%) are much more likely to have used a payday loan company to close a financial gap.
This figure was more than 20 points higher than for all other age groups.
The figures showed that women are more affected by financial constraints at home and often have to cancel activities where the financial constraints of men have an impact on performance and attendance at work.
Overall, 71% of men vs. 84% of women experience financial hardship before payday.
The survey asked where people had access to extra money to help them and just over half (55%) approached family and friends, while a third (33%) said they ‘they borrowed money through their credit cards.
17% said they used their overdraft facility and 17% went to their local credit union.
Almost two in five workers (39%) say they had to borrow money to pay for an unforeseen event such as a car breakdown, a new dishwasher, etc.
Almost three in ten workers (29%) say they are unable to save money each month. Among those who save money each month, the average amount saved is € 409. Men (€ 443) say they save more than women (€ 370).
One in five (21%) of 18-34 year olds say they don’t save, while a third of those over 35 say they don’t save.
Wagestream Ireland Managing Director Adam Hankin said:
“The workers basically give their employers an interest-free loan every month. We all work hard for our money and we should be able to access what we have earned if and when we need it.
“At Wagestream, we want to stamp out payday loan companies and help people avoid credit cards and other high interest debt.
“By offering Wagestream to employees, employers can help alleviate financial problems for their staff and encourage financial well-being in the workplace.
“Removing anxiety around payday naturally leads to a happier, more productive workforce with lower turnover.”
The Wagestream app allows employees to avoid borrowing money or taking out high interest loans.
Access to Wagestream is set at a maximum of 50% of salaries already received at the time of the transaction.