Study: Most Americans can’t afford $1,000 emergency expense


NASHVILLE (WKRN) — When the unexpected strikes most Americans aren’t prepared to pay for it, according to a new study released this week.

The study, out Wednesday the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, found that 64% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense

The rest of the 2,700 people polled said that they would have to go to other extremes to cover an unexpected expense, such as borrowing money or taking out a cash advance on a credit card.

“It’s alarming,” Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the Washington, DC-based non-profit, told CNN.  “For consumers who live paycheck to paycheck, having spent tomorrow’s money, an unplanned expense can truly put them in financial distress.”

Seventeen percent of those polled said they would borrow money from family or friends.

Another 17% said they would neglect other financial obligations such as a credit card bill or mortgage payment in order to free up some funds.

Alternatively, 12% said they would have to sell or pawn some assets to come up with $1,000 and 9% said they would need to take out a loan.

Another 9% said they would get a cash advance from a credit card, according to the NFCC.

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