Survey: Households increasingly burdened paying for necessities

A new survey by Fannie Mae indicates that many households feel increasingly burdened paying for necessities such as gas, food, medical bills and housing payments.

To maintain spending, many have turned to drawing down previously built-up savings from the COVID-19 period and related stimulus programs, while also increasingly taking on more consumer debt, according to Fannie Mae.

The survey indicates that:

  • More than one-third of consumers expect their ability to pay for food (35%), medical care (34%), and gas (33%) will be impacted in the next 12 months (as of September 2022).
  • 26% of consumers expressed concern about making future mortgage/rent payments, up from 18% in April. This concern was far higher among renters (39%) than mortgage holders (22%), but both groups increased significantly from April to September (renters up 8%, mortgage holders up 7%).
  • More than a quarter (28%) of the general population reported not being able to save any money as of September (up from 23% in April), indicating a growing group at risk of depleting their savings should any shocks to income occur in a potential recession.
  • Renters were more likely to report not being able to save (35%) than mortgage holders (28%), but mortgage holders grew far more significantly over time (from just 18% unable to save in April, compared to 32% of renters in April).
  • Consumer stress over their ability to make debt payments in Q3 2022 (35% very/somewhat stressed) was higher than historically seen, primarily driven by credit card debt.
  • Among consumers who said their debt was significantly higher compared to a year ago, 39% attributed it to higher credit card debt, roughly twice as high as medical/health loans (21%) and auto loans (17%).

Full results of the survey can be accessed on the Fannie Mae website.

Leave a Reply