Michigan readers may be interested in the findings of a recent poll regarding credit card debt and savings. The poll showed that 28 percent of Americans have credit card debts that exceed their personal savings and 17 percent have no credit card debt but also no savings. This indicates that almost half of all American citizens have insufficient or no savings, while over a quarter have excessive credit card debt.
An alarming fact that has come to light is that many people use their credit cards as emergency funds. Unemployment and underemployment have had a devastating effect on the finances of many families. The report mentioned the case of a bookstore owner who had been hard hit by the recession. The enormous drop in sales had resulted in some months when the business did not generate enough income to cover the payroll, and her only option was to withdraw cash from her credit card to make up the shortfall. This became a vicious circle, because as soon as she was able to make the minimum payment on the credit card, she would need to withdraw it again for another emergency.