Half of Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Nearly half of Americans surveyed (48%) say they are living paycheck to paycheck, while 44% indicate they are simply trying to stay current on bills or home payments and avoid excessive debt or bankruptcy, says a new survey from online lender NetCredit.

Credit unions can view that news as a warning that members living check to check could experience significant financial problems if something in their life changes. Warning signs can include any situation in which income is lost or sudden, unexpected bills. Many past bankruptcies have been attributed to lost income from a death, a divorce, loss of a job, or an increase in bills such as medical or legal bills.

Credit unions can also see the study as a marketing opportunity to make members aware of their savings programs and better rates, a financial counseling opportunity, or a chance to deliver financial education/money management information through a number of channels.

NetCredit collected some demographics, which could help credit unions know where to start. The population segments where concern about living paycheck to paycheck runs highest were:

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