Last Updated on October 11, 2022
A growing number of Americans are struggling to pay bills on time amidst surging inflation. According to data from LendingTree, 32% of customers paid a bill late over the past six months. LendingTree recently surveyed 498 consumers regarding their bill-paying habits and found that “61% of Americans who’ve paid a bill late in the past six months say they didn’t have enough money to cover the cost.”
Nearly half of those who were recently late with a payment said it was a utility bill (46%) followed by a credit card (39%) or cable or internet bill (34%). 40% of respondents said they were less able to afford bills now than a year ago.
Of respondents who make less than $35,000 a year, more than half (54%) reported that bills are becoming increasingly difficult to afford. Overall, 62% of Americans struggle to afford at least one bill, LendingTree’s survey found.
In addition, 51% of respondents said they were forced to overdraft an account in order to pay a bill, with 26% saying they’ve done it more than once. Of people who paid their bill late in the past six months, 72% say their primary bank charges overdraft fees, while another 8% don’t know.
Rising inflation appears to be taking its toll on consumers, as 61% of those who could not pay on time said it was because they did not have enough money to cover the costs.
LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz noted that a growing number of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. “Life is getting more expensive by the day and it’s shrinking Americans’ already tiny financial margin for error down to zero,” Schulz said. “Unless they’ve been able to increase their income, millions of Americans have had to make sacrifices because of inflation to pay the bills. Perhaps the worst part is that inflation likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means that short-term quick fixes won’t cut it.”