NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — When the unexpected strikes, most Americans aren’t prepared to pay for it.
A majority, or 64%, of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency expense, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, released on Wednesday.
Only 36% said they would tap their rainy day funds for an emergency. The rest of the 2,700 people polled said that they would have to go to other extremes to cover an unexpected expense, such as borrowing money or taking out a cash advance on a credit card.
“It’s alarming,” said Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the Washington, DC-based non-profit. “For consumers who live paycheck to paycheck — having spent tomorrow’s money — an unplanned expense can truly put them in financial distress,” she noted.