Nearly half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, even though the economy continues to improve and it appears that fewer individuals are being contacted about unpaid debts, according to data released by PYMNTS.com.
The data points, part of the site’s “Financial Invisibles” report, are part of a larger look at how individuals is using credit and dealing with bill paying.
The report asks individuals about whether they have been contacted about a bill in the past year across 13 different categories. Only student loans, phone and cable bills, and medical bills were up on a quarter-over-quarter basis, according to the report. The most frequently cited category was credit card debt at 41%, followed by medical debt at 37%, and phone and cable bill at 21%. The number of individuals who reported being contacted about an unpaid credit card debt dropped to 41% in the second quarter from 43% in the first quarter, while the number of individuals contacted about an unpaid medical debt increased to 37% from 28% and the number of individuals contacted about an unpaid phone or cable bill rose to 21% from 19%.
Individuals are categorized into one of four groups based on their financial situation, from “No Worries,” to “Shut Outs.” Eighty-six percent of individuals in the “No Worries” group pay all of their bills on time, down to 20% of the individuals in the “Shut Outs” group.
Regardless of what financial stressors are preventing these consumers from gaining control of their finances, one fact is abundantly clear: Steady work and high credit scores are not enough to make consumers feel financially stable.