22% Of Americans Have No Emergency Savings

The average share balance per credit union member dropped more than $200 across 2023 as high inflation weakened savings.

RAINY DAY SAVINGS OF AMERICANS
FOR U.S. ADULTS | DATA AS OF MAY 2023
© Callahan & Associates | CreditUnions.com

Source: Bankrate
  • Liquidity was a top concern for lenders in 2023. Credit unions grappled with a rising loan-to-share ratio, which reached 85.1% by the year’s end. Share balances grew just 1.7% annually across the industry as members struggled to save.
  • At the member level, the average share balance per credit union member dropped $216 across 2023 to $13,314 as of Dec. 31.
  • Understanding the root causes for this decline is key to understanding what’s happening in members’ lives — what weighs on their minds and pocketbooks. According to Bankrate’s yearly emergency savings report, a full 63% of respondents cited high inflation as a major cause of softened savings.
  • Approximately 67% of respondents to the Bankrate report said they feared their emergency savings wouldn’t keep them afloat for just one month should they lose their primary income source. Overall, survey results showed slightly more than half of Americans don’t have enough savings set aside to cover three months of expenses.
  • The struggle to save varies significantly by generation. A full 72% of Gen Z — who have started to enter the workforce — reported to Bankrate that they had either no emergency funds or not enough to cover three months of expenses. At the other end of the spectrum, 35% of baby boomers — who are leaving the workforce — fell into this category.
  • Many Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and more than one-third reported they would have to borrow to cover an unexpected expense of $1,000. As other institutions turn away customers, credit unions have a valuable opportunity to welcome these disenfranchised individuals into the cooperative fold and find ways to support struggling members.

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Ampersand
February 19, 2024

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