Poll: Which Is Greater – Your Emergency Fund or Your Credit Card Debt?

Which is greater – your emergency fund or your credit card debt?

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Bankrate.com recently published a Financial Security Index (a survey by Princeton Data Source) that polled Americans about their emergency savings and credit card debt. The results were interesting so say the least. First the good news: a majority of Americans have more money in their emergency fund than they do in credit card debt – 52% to be exact. Now the bad news: the other 48% are either clueless or have a balance on their credit card(s) that is larger than their emergency savings.

The numbers broke out nationally like this (I’m unsure of the sample size):


An amazing number of people (19%) don’t have a credit card OR an emergency fund which means they’re just one minor disaster away from either going into debt with a payday lender, borrowing money from friends/relatives or heading toward bankruptcy.

Some of the other statistics:

  • Of those polled who were over 65 years old, an astounding 26 percent had neither debt nor savings, the most among all age groups.
  • In the 30 to 49 age bracket, one out of three had higher debt than savings, the highest proportion.
  • For the under 30 crowd, a staggering 59 percent reported their emergency fund was larger. Way to go Gen Y! It seems that the younger group actually “gets it.”

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