Only Half of Americans Have More Emergency Savings than Credit Card Debt

Just over half of all Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt.  That’s according to a new study by  The study found that 52% of Americans are in a position where they aren’t essentially underwater to credit card debt. The percentage stands the same as in 2011, reflecting zero progress over a time when the stock market surged and unemployment plummeted.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of information in the study is that millennials are the most likely to have emergency savings.  It seems as though millennials have been paying attention to what has happened with their parents, and it’s causing them to stay away.

“Contrary to society’s perception of millennials and their financial characteristics, millennials have learned from their parents’ mistakes and are more cautious when it comes to saving for that rainy day,” saidGreg McBride, CFA,’s Chief Financial Analyst. “Their aversion to credit cards may have also played a part in helping them grow their savings accounts,” he added.

Similarly, 53% of men and 50% of women say they have more emergency savings than credit card debt. (PRNewsFoto/Bankrate, Inc.)

The study also found that savings and credit card debts were pretty even distributed among the sexes, with men and women being statistically the same when it came to those having credit card debt, those who did not but had savings, and those who have an emergency fund.

Also of interest was the percentage of Americans with no credit card debt, but no savings either, jumped from 13% last year to 21% this year. On a positive note, only 22% of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings, the lowest it has been in six years. What the study does not do a great job of explaining is what is considerd an “emergency fund.” It’s easy to say you have an emergency fund, but if it’s only $100 how big of an emergency can you face?

All in all it seems like more Americans are just staying away from credit cards and debt all together.



Top image courtesy

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