Scripps News LifeMoney


More Americans say they have more credit card debt than savings

More Americans say they would rely on credit cards in case of a sudden emergency than on personal savings.
Credit card being scanned.
Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 24, 2023

With inflation at its highest levels in four decades, it comes as no surprise that Americans are tapped out of their savings and relying on credit cards. 

According to a Bankrate survey,36% of Americans started the year with more credit card debt than savings. Bankrate said 36% set a record since it began conducting the survey in 2011. 

Baby boomers were most likely to have savings that exceeded credit card debt, while millennials were most likely to have credit card debt that exceeds savings.

In January 2022, 22% of those surveyed had more credit card debt than savings, which was down from 28% in January 2020.

A person counts $20 bills

Millennials aren't saving as much compared to Gen X, baby boomers

Millennials are a lot poorer and are saving less compared to Gen X and baby boomers.


A slim majority of Americans, 51%, said they had more savings than credit card debt. The survey found that 13% had no credit card debt or savings. 

“It is quite stunning that such a high percentage of adults has no savings and no credit card debt,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said in a press release. “Anyone with no such savings, including those without access to credit, risks tremendous stress, or worse, on their personal finances when hit with a significant unplanned expense such as a major home or auto repair.”

Although 39% of Americans said they have less in emergency savings than a year ago, 26% reported having more.