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Most Americans Unable to Handle a $500 Surprise Bill


The U.S. economy has recovered from the latest recession, but many Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck, putting them one unexpected bill away from a major financial catastrophe.

According to an eye-opening new survey conducted by, approximately 63 percent of Americans say that they would be unable to deal with an unexpected expense, such as a $1,000 emergency room bill or even a $500 car repair bill. When faced with such a situation, approximately 23 percent said that they would have to cut back on spending in other areas to make ends meet, 15 percent would have to rely on credit cards, and another 15 percent reported that they would have to turn to friends or family members for help.

These findings reveal a stark contrast between our healing economy and the sad reality that two out of three Americans are not financially healthy. With costs for housing, food, healthcare, and education continually on the rise, many American families are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to save money for an emergency. While many may see the possibility of an emergency situation as rare, the truth is that six out of every 10 Americans have experienced an unexpected financial shock in the past year, with lost income and major car repairs topping the list.

Notably, the Bankrate survey also found that one of five consumers making less than $30,000 a year said that they had enough set aside to deal with a surprise bill, showing that creating a financial cushion is not impossible for low-income earners, though it may require more discipline.

Read more about the findings of this survey online via CNN.

Don’t Endure Your Debt Troubles Alone

For people living on the edge, a large bill can be catastrophic. An inability to pay for a needed car repair, for example, could jeopardize a person’s ability to get to work or take their children to school. It could cost them their ability to make their mortgage payments on time, putting them in danger of foreclosure. With so much riding on your financial health, there is no time to waste in dealing with the old debt that has been holding you down for so long.

If your financial health is suffering due to unmanageable debts or you are facing foreclosure on your home, now is the time to consult with an attorney at Atlas Consumer Law A Chicago bankruptcy lawyer at our firm can help you determine what options are available to you to handle your situation and restore you to a place of financial freedom.

Request a consultation with a legal professional by calling (312) 313-1613.