Household Finances

Financial literacy and household financial stability among Americans has rebounded slightly in recent years, according to an under-reported tri-annual report from FINRA, but several emerging trends are beginning to take hold in the American economy. More households are struggling with debt and an average family overburdened with monthly expenses.

Compounding this is the stabilization of non-bank lending among American households. In 2012, 28% of Americans had a payday loan, credit through a rent-to-own company, a pawn shop or an auto title loan. That percentage only dropped to 26% by 2015, meaning that these high interest loans are continuing to proliferate into the normal course of debt creation in the country.

Another trend that has continued to get moderately better, yet still poses a significant risk to household financial stability is the percentage of households making only minimum monthly payments on their credit cards. In 2009, 40% of American households could only make the minimum payment on at least one of their credit cards. In 2012, that number slipped to 34% and in 2015, fell slightly further to 32%, still nearly one-third of all households.

For more on this under-reported study, check out our new article Thursday.

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