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Research and Statistics

6 in 10 Americans will use second stimulus check to pay bills

Only 10% say their covid relief funds will go toward credit card payments, a new survey shows

Summary

With a second round of coronavirus relief stimulus hitting bank accounts and mailboxes this month, new survey data show how Americans expect to spend these $600 checks. Most say they’ll use the money to pay household bills.

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With a second round of coronavirus relief stimulus hitting bank accounts and mailboxes this month, new survey data show how Americans expect to spend these $600 checks.

How Americans plan to spend their stimulus check

According to bill pay service doxo, more than half of the survey respondents (53%) believed they will receive a stimulus check, with 37% unsure. Not surprisingly, the vast majority (90%) believe the cash infusion will improve their financial health.

When asked how they plan to use the funds – which amount to $600 per adult or dependent child for income-eligible households – almost 6 in 10 (59%) reported they would pay household bills with the funds.

In a distant second were using the money to keep their family fed or putting it in savings, both at 11%, followed closely by paying credit card bills, reported by 10% of respondents.

See related: When to pay your credit card bill

Among those who indicated they would target household expenses, utility bills were the run-away first choice, cited by more than three-quarters of the adults (78%). After utilities, similar proportions of the respondents said they would cover cable and internet bills (35%), rent (33%), their mortgage (32%) or cell phone bills (32%).

Based on its aggregate data from millions of consumers’ monthly bills, doxo reports that the average household spends $290 per month on utilities, meaning a $600 stimulus check will only last a couple of months in covering these bills.

Though 41% of survey respondents said they think it will take the overall economy more than a year to recover, 68% indicated it would take that long or longer for their own financial health to be back on track.

A separate study conducted by the Federal Reserve last August showed 45% of Americans would save a second stimulus check, and 31% said they’d use it to pay down debt.

The findings from doxo were drawn from both aggregate bill payment data from over 4 million consumers from all 3,007 U.S. counties and a survey conducted in December among 1,078 U.S. adults. The results were released Jan. 7.

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