Survey: Employees less likely to borrow on cards for necessities

One out of five employees (20 percent) borrow on their credit cards to pay for monthly necessities because they can't afford them otherwise, a study by the multinational accounting and professional services company PwC shows. That's the bad news.

The good news in PwC's 2015 Employee Financial Wellness Survey is that the percentage is down from 24 percent three years ago, and Gen Xers are showing the most improvement. In 2013, 33 percent of those ages 34 to 54 had to borrow on their cards for necessities. In this year's study, it's down significantly, to 23 percent. 

The workers at the opposite ends of the income scale rely least on borrowing against credit cards for necessities. Least likely are those making $100,000 or more -- only 15 percent of them count on their cards for necessities. Those making less than $30,000 were the second smallest group, with 19 percent.

Overall, the survey found positive trends in employees' financial wellness. Compared to three years ago:

  • Fewer employees are having difficulty meeting household expenses (33 percent, down from 49 percent).
  • Fewer employees consistently carry a credit card balance (47 percent, down from 53 percent).
  • Of those who consistently carry a card balance, fewer report they have a hard time making minimum payments (26 percent, down from 39 percent).

The survey included 1,700 full-time employees ages 21-72. Age groups were divided thus: Gen Y -- 21-33; Gen X -- 34-54; Baby Boomers -- 55-72. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percent. The survey was released April 17, 2015.

Employees borrow less for necessities on credit cards


See related: Fed: Credit card debt rises 6.2 percent, More infographics

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Updated: 03-19-2019