Debt Outweighs Savings for Many in US

LiveScience.com

The uncertain economy is continuing to take its toll on Americans' personal finances, new research shows.

A study by Bankrate.com revealed that just 55 percent of U.S. consumers have more emergency savings than credit card debt.

While that's slightly up from 54 percent last year and 52 percent in 2011, Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst, said the debt-to-savings ratio isn't really improving for most adults.

"Consumers may be deleveraging, but the proportion of people with more emergency savings than credit card debt hasn't changed much," McBride said. "Given the poll's 3.5 percent margin of error, one can make the argument that consumers haven't moved the needle at all over the past 24 months."

The research found that those with small kids face significantly worse credit card debt. Nearly 30 percent of parents with children younger than 18 have more money in credit card debt than in savings, while this is the case for just 21 percent of those not raising kids.

Not surprisingly, those taking home more money each week are the ones able to avoid debt, while saving at the same time. Almost 70 percent of those surveyed who make at least $75,000 a year has more savings than credit card debt, compared to just 41 percent of those earning less than $30,000.

Overall, the research shows Americans' attitudes regarding their financial situations have declined. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed feel worse than they did a year ago about their financial status, compared to just 23 percent who feel better off.

In particular, nearly 40 percent of those surveyed feel worse about the money they have stored away in savings, compared to just 14 percent who say their situations have improved. In addition, 24 percent are less comfortable with the amount of debt they have, compared to the 20 percent who say their debt has fallen.

The study was based on surveys of more than 1,000 U.S. adults.

This story was provided by BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
View Comments (83)