CFPB Releases Results of Making Ends Meet Survey

Jul 20, 2020Federal Regulation, Financial Literacy, News

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the first results from its Making Ends Meet survey, which is part of the CFPB’s mission to study the competitive marketplace, credit access, and consumer choice of products and services. The results highlight the various difficulties that many Americans face when making ends meet.

“Consumers who experience difficulty often adjust by borrowing, cutting back on other expenses, not paying bills or expenses, or seeking additional income,” reads the data point on insights from the survey. “Many consumers report that they are not well prepared to weather even a brief period of loss of their main income source without altering their lifestyle.”

According to the report, 52 percent of survey respondents reported that if they lost their main source of income, they could only cover expenses for two months or less. Considering all sources of funds, 20 percent of respondents could cover expenses for two weeks or less.

Other key findings include that in May 2019, 40 percent of consumers had a hard time paying a bill or expense within the previous year. When asked how they managed paying a difficult bill, half of the respondents reported borrowing and cutting back on other expenses.

Additionally, households that experienced a period of reduced work hours, unemployment, or inability to work due to illness were almost twice as likely to have difficulty paying a bill. Most consumers that had difficulty covering expenses were often unable to pay for other necessities, such as rent, food, or utilities.

The Bureau’s survey is weighted to nationally represent consumers with a credit record. Click here to view the full report.

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