Only 40% of Americans have a separate emergency savings fund, but most who do (81%) believe it will be enough to cover unexpected expenses in the coming year, the Consumer Federation of America found in a national survey of 1,000 people.
The young, poor and minorities are least likely to have such an account. Only 19% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 have such an account, 23% of those with household incomes of less than $25,000, 31% of African-Americans and 32% of Hispanic-Americans have an emergency savings account. But among those with household incomes of $75,000 or more, 58% have an emergency stash.
Of the 40% that have emergency funds, 51% report having balances of $2,000 or more.
“The ability of Americans to cover unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or emergency dental visit, greatly depends on their having an emergency savings fund,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. “And they will be less dependent on high-cost credit, such as payday loans or even credit cards, to bail themselves out.”