LendingTree discovered that 32% of customers paid a bill late over the last six months, and a survey they performed 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.”
According to National File, nearly half of the late payers said they were behind on utility bills (46%), followed by credit cards (39%) or cable or internet bills (34%).
Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said they were less able to afford bills and payments now than they were a year ago.
Additionally, LendingTree respondents revealed that they were forced to overdraw an account in order to pay their bills, with 26% saying they’ve done so more than once.
Of people late to pay bills in the last six months, 72% say their primary bank charges for overdraft fees.
Inflation is also taking its toll on consumers, with 61% of those who could not pay on time saying it was because they did not have enough money to cover their costs.
Mat Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst, said an increased number of Americans are struggling to pay their bills.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
The Biden administration has been scrambling to make inflation seem like an insignificant event, attempting to spin the disaster as “appeasing Mother Earth,” or as an apt opportunity to review your personal finances.
The polls do not lie, however; a recent poll revealed that inflation is one of the biggest issues that Democrats are tracking most poorly on heading into midterms.