WalletHub discovered 34 percent of respondents in a nationally representative study have a fear of maxing out their credit cards or overdrafting on their debit card accounts when they make large purchases. One in eight said they maxed out their credit cards more than once over the last year. The study was conducted during the second week of January 2019.
Interesting tidbits from the "2019 Large Purchase Survey" include that Republicans are 70 percent more likely to use cash for a big purchase than Democrats, but Democrats are still less likely to have maxed out their credit cards.
The survey comes on the heels of a December 2018 study by CreditCards.com that found more than 40 percent of Americans who currently have some level of debt do not know when they will pay it off. About one in four said they expect to die before their debt is paid off.
A much-discussed report by the Federal Reserve in 2017 documented how just 59 percent of American adults can easily handle an unexpected $400 expense, like a car repair bill or medical bill. Inversely, the same study showed that 41 percent of American adults could not cover a one-time $400 bill with their combined liquidity from cash, savings and a credit card.