Credello: Here’s Why Americans Are More Worried About Missing a Debt Payment These Days

The global pandemic has been a physical, mental, and financial challenge for a lot of people. But surprisingly, the financial outlook for many Americans looks better than it did when the pandemic began. Why then are more Americans worried about missing a debt payment in the next three months?
Perception vs. Reality
The New York Fed’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations shows that, as of October 2021, Americans are apprehensive about not being able to make a minimum debt payment in the next three months. In fact, it’s the most concerned they’ve been at any point in the last 17 months of the pandemic. The survey revealed that 18% of those surveyed making under $50,000 per year felt they may not be able to make a minimum debt payment in the next three months.
Interestingly, the group most concerned about missing a debt payment, those households bringing in less than $50,000 a year, are actually doing okay financially. Lower-income households have seen an increase in wages and received benefits from ongoing government support. So what gives?
What’s Causing the Concern?
Opinions are generally formed from two sources: what you know to be true and external information you receive. The second part comes largely from what others say, including friends, co-workers, and the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the media has been abuzz lately with more messages of rising inflation, so Americans may be internalizing those messages to mean things will be worse off for them in the coming months.
The major issue with this is perception can influence reality, so people who think they’ll be worse off financially could be inclined to make poor decisions since they believe economic conditions will continue to deteriorate.
What Should Americans Do?
In a time of rising consumer worry, there are a few things Americans can do to protect their financial health, including:
Source: Credello