Here's somewhat discouraging news for lenders and servicers: Almost half of Americans (48%) indicate they are living paycheck to paycheck today, according to a survey by Chicago-based online lender NetCredit.com. Furthermore, 44% say that they are simply trying to stay current on bills or home payments and to avoid excessive debt or bankruptcy.
According to the NetCredit poll, three out of 10 Americans report that their primary financial goal now is to remain current on their bills (24%) or home payments (6%), with another 14% trying to avoid bankruptcy.
Faced with a variety of options for borrowing cash to meet a financial emergency, 61% of those polled say they would tap into their general savings, while 23% said they would max out their credit cards and 16% would borrow from friends and family. Only 15% had a separate rainy day fund for such an emergency.
‘Living paycheck to paycheck puts many Americans dangerously close to their own personal fiscal cliff should they be hit with an emergency expense,’ says Stephanie Klein, head of consumer lending at NetCredit. ‘An unexpected medical bill, car repair or higher-than-usual utility bill can easily push them beyond their ability to pay bills on time.’
The survey was conducted online in September 2012 by TNS Omnibus among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans adults.