SURVEY: Middle-Income Americans’ Credit Card Debt Steadily Increasing Amid Inflation
October 13 2022 - 06:00AM
More families using credit cards, tapping
savings as cost of living rises
Primerica, Inc. (NYSE: PRI), a leading provider
of financial services in the United States and Canada, released its
Middle-Income Financial Security Monitor for the third quarter of
2022 — a national survey that measures changes in the sentiments of
middle-income families in the U.S. about their finances.
The survey found middle-income households are increasingly
taking on credit card debt as the vast majority (75%) report their
income is falling behind the cost of living. That’s despite cutting
back on non-essential spending or putting off regular home or car
“We are seeing an increasing reliance on credit with many
middle-income families reporting that their credit card debt has
recently increased,” said Glenn J. Williams, CEO of Primerica.
“Financial stress brought on by rising credit card balances also
has more families than ever before making only the minimum payments
on their credit cards. With this and the cost of living continuing
to rise, it is particularly important for families to get expert
financial guidance to help mitigate the impact of this rising
Key Findings from Primerica’s U.S. Middle-Income Financial
- Credit card debt on the rise. More than one-third (37%)
report taking on more credit card debt, a 6-point increase since
June’s survey and the highest number since quarterly data tracking
began July 2020. About one-fifth (21%) say they are making only the
minimum payment on their balance each month, the highest percentage
in the survey’s history.
- Shifts in spending and saving. Three-quarters (75%)
report cutting back on non-essentials; nearly half (47%) are
cutting back or pausing on saving; more than two-fifths (43%) are
putting off regular maintenance on their car or home; about
one-third (34%) are tapping their savings; and nearly one-third
(29%) report using their credit cards more.
- Positive outlook down over past two years. Overall, more
than half (53%) rate their current financial situation as excellent
or good. However, that number is down 11 percentage points from 64%
in September 2020. Additionally, the percentage of respondents who
feel positive about their ability to save for the future is down 20
percentage points over the past two years, falling from 45% in
September 2020 to just 25% today.
- Lack of money continues to stall retirement savings. Of
respondents without an IRA or retirement savings plan through work,
more than half (52%) say they can’t afford to save for retirement,
the highest percentage since the survey began. In addition, less
than one-fifth (19%) believe they have enough saved to retire
comfortably, down 12 percentage points from nearly one-third (31%)
in September 2020.
Topline Trends Data
How would you rate the condition of your
personal finances? (Reporting “Excellent” and “Good”
Q3 2022 Survey: Confidence in personal
finances has trended downward since April 2021.
Overall, would you say your income is…?
(Reporting “Falling behind the cost of living” responses.)
Q3 2022 Survey: Concern about meeting
increased cost of living is still up.
Do you have an emergency fund that would
cover an expense of $1,000 or more (for example, if your car broke
down or you had a large medical bill)? (Reporting “Yes”
Q3 2022 Survey: About the same percentage
have an emergency fund that would cover an expense of $1,000 or
How would you rate the economic health of
your community? (Reporting “Not so good” and “Poor” responses.)
Q3 2022 Survey: The economic health of
communities improved modestly.
How would you rate your ability to save
for the future? (Reporting “Not so good” and “Poor” responses.)
Q3 2022 Survey: Over 70% feel it will be
difficult to save for the future, an increase from previous
In the past three months, has your credit
card debt…? (Reporting “Increased” responses.)
Q3 2022 Survey: Credit card debt is at the
highest point in Monitor history.
About Primerica’s Middle-Income Financial Security
The Monitor is a quarterly national survey to monitor the
financial health of those with annual household incomes of
$30,000-$100,000. Change Research conducted online polling from
September 2-5, 2022. Using Dynamic Online Sampling, Change Research
polled 1,546 adults over 18. Post-stratification weights were made
on gender, age, race, education and Census region to reflect the
population of these adults based on the five-year averages in the
2020 American Community Survey published by the U.S. Census. The
margin of error is 2.8%.
About Primerica, Inc.
Primerica is a leading provider of financial services to
middle-income households in the United States and Canada. Licensed
financial representatives educate Primerica clients about how to
prepare for a more secure financial future by assessing their needs
and providing appropriate products like term life insurance, mutual
funds, annuities, and other financial products. Primerica insured
over 5.7 million lives and had over 2.7 million client investment
accounts as of December 31, 2021. Primerica was the #2 issuer of
Term Life insurance coverage in the United States and Canada in
2021 through its insurance company subsidiaries. Primerica stock is
included in the S&P MidCap 400 and the Russell 1000 stock
indices and is traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the
version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221013005475/en/
Primerica Media: Gana Ahn, 678-431-9266 email@example.com
Primerica Investor Relations: Nicole Russell, 470-564-6663
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