Americans struggling in the battle between debt and savings
TRENTON - Americans are losing ground in the battle between debt and savings. A new Bankrate.com report said that half of Americans report that they have more money in emergency savings accounts than they do in credit card debt, but the amount of Americans with more credit card debt than emergency savings has grown over the past year.
“Too many Americans haven’t right-sized their savings relative to debt, and even those that have made progress still find themselves with an inadequate amount of savings,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
The percentage of Americans with more credit card debt than savings has gone up from 22 percent to 24 percent. Furthermore, roughly 17 percent of Americans do not have any credit card debt, but also lack any emergency savings. This leaves them with one unplanned payment away from having credit card debt or other expenses, according to McBride.
Of all the age groups, Millennials and Gen Xers were more likely than any other generation to have more credit card debt than emergency savings. However, older Millennials, ages 27-36, had the single highest probability to have more emergency savings than credit card debt.
But it's not just Millennials that are struggling.
The Silent Generation is the age group most likely to have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings. Bankrate.com said reinforces the idea that seniors are living solely off of fixed incomes, such as Social Security and pensions.
“If you don’t have emergency savings, you’re just one unpaid expense away from having high cost credit card debt or another form of debt.” said McBride.
A expected, households with higher levels of income also have a higher likelihood of having more savings than credit card debt. However, the lowest income group is not the most likely to have excessive credit card debt. In fact, the group with the highest chance of having credit card debt exceeding emergency savings is the lower middle income group, who earn roughly 30-50 thousand dollars per year. Households with low amounts of income are the group most likely to have neither credit card debt nor emergency savings.