Payment protection offers low-cost peace of mind

Making ends meet is hard—very hard—for most Americans.

As of January 2024, 62 percent of Americans report living paycheck to paycheck, an increase of 2 percent from a year ago, according to PYMNT Intelligence, New Reality Check: The paycheck to paycheck report1. This includes 36 percent of consumers with incomes of more than $200,000 a year and means that for most individuals or families, their income barely covers essential living costs like housing, groceries, transportation, and utilities.

Rising inflation and stagnant wages are partially to blame. Although inflationary pressures have mostly eased—to 3.8 percent from a peak of around 9.1 percent in June 2022—average prices remain higher than they were three years ago.2

No margin for error creates stress

Living paycheck to paycheck means that missing just one paycheck can be devastating, and the thought of that is extremely stressful. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 people conducted by Securian Financial, over half of consumers feel that increasing prices and stagnant salaries make meeting loan or credit card payments more stressful3.

This is especially true if they have multiple loan payments to prioritize. The majority are also concerned with how their existing loan might negatively affect their credit score. One respondent said “pay is staying the same and the cost of everything is going up. Just living and paying normal bills is hard.”

Unexpected costs or events make it even more difficult. Another respondent noted “I had a personal hardship last year that prevented me from working all year, and it consumed my savings. Now I need to figure out how to pay for a loan that I had no problem paying before the unexpected hardship.”

Loss of income or employment are most common reasons for default

A quarter of those surveyed have defaulted/stopped making payments on a loan with most reporting loss of income or job loss as the reason. Other reasons included unexpected expenses like car or home repair, medical or disability issues, and divorce.

Consumer worry about making loan payments and how it can impact their credit score. Sixty four percent of consumers are worried about a current or existing loan negatively affecting their credit score.

Payment protection can ease the worry

Payment protection, also known as credit insurance, reduces or pays off your loan balance or makes monthly payments if something unexpected happens, such as involuntary job loss, disability, or death. This insurance can be offered with a loan or credit card.

The peace of mind it brings is well worth it—80 percent of those who bought payment protection were satisfied with their decision to purchase. They found the small added cost to be worth the protection of their finances and credit score if they were no longer able to make payments.

“It doesn’t cost much, and it gives me peace of mind if something unexpected happens,” noted one survey participant.

They would buy it again and recommend it to others

An overwhelming majority of those we surveyed—75 percent—said they are very likely or somewhat likely to purchase the product again and would recommend it to others taking out a loan.

This provides financial institutions with a fantastic opportunity to help those in underserved markets and the many people making a solid income but still living paycheck to paycheck.

Consumers also told us they want to learn about the protection product early in the process but want to apply for it along with the loan for convenience and logistics. Big opportunities exist to aid these consumers.


Contact Securian Financial

Contact Securian Financial


  1. New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report, February – March 2024 Report. PYMNTS Intelligence. Murray, Scott, Muniz, Marcos, Suydam, Margot.
  2. New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report, February – March 2024 Report. PYMNTS Intelligence. Murray, Scott, Muniz, Marcos, Suydam, Margot.
  3. Unless otherwise noted, all statics are from the Securian Financial proprietary survey, Consumer perspectives on lending products and services, conducted in February 2024.
Insurance products are issued by Minnesota Life Insurance Company or Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer. Minnesota Life is not an authorized New York insurer and does not do insurance business in New York. Both companies are headquartered in St. Paul, MN.
Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies or contracts it issues.
This is a general communication for informational and educational purposes. The information is not designed, or intended, to be applicable to any person’s individual circumstances. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation that anyone engage in (or refrain from) a particular course of action. If you are seeking investment advice or recommendations, please contact your financial professional.
Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. Insurance products are issued by it subsidiary insurance companies, including Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer.  Securities and investment advisory services offered through Securian Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.
Debt protection is a contractual liability policy issued to the credit union by Securian Casualty Company, a New York authorized insurer. Minnesota Life Insurance Company acts as the administrator of the credit union’s debt protection program. The credit union is independently owned and is not affiliated with Securian Financial.
John Goltz

John Goltz

John Goltz, Sales Vice President for Securian Financial Affinity Solutions, covers the Eastern and Southern regions of the United States. John is responsible for payment protection products including credit protection ... Web: Details