Half of Americans have More Emergency Savings Than Credit Card Debt

Half of Americans have More 'Emergency Savings' Than Credit Card DebtOnly 55 percent of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, according to latest research from Bankrate.com.
Despite an steadily improving housing market and overall economy, that figure has changed much over the past two years.
Last year, Bankrate found that 54 percent of Americans had more emergency savings than credit card debt; the figure was 52 percent in 2011.
“Consumers may be deleveraging, but the proportion of people with more emergency savings than credit card debt hasn’t changed much,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “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.”
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index dropped from 98.6 in January to 96.8 in February, giving up improvement that took place from December to January.
A measure of 100 means consumers’ feelings of financial security are unchanged from one year ago; the index has been below 100 – indicating diminishing financial security – in 25 of the 27 months since its inception.
However, rebounding home prices and a bullish stock market have helped make “net worth” the only component to improve from January to February.
Job security, savings, debt and overall financial situation all declined.
When consumers were asked whether they are feeling better, worse or about the same now versus one year ago, net worth was also the only component to register in positive territory, Bankrate said.
Among the highest-income households (income of $75,000 per year or more), all five components declined over the past month.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI).

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