1 in 4 Americans Lack Emergency Savings

Only 40 percent of Americans have three months of expenses saved, study shows.

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Americans don't have much of in the way of rainy-day funds, according to a new report.

Among the key findings of the new report commissioned by Bankrate, a consumer finance company, 26 percent of Americans have no emergency savings at all, and only 17 percent have savings to cover three to five months of expenses.

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“Even among the highest-income households – those with annual income of $75,000 or above – fewer than half currently have a six-month savings cushion,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, said in a news release.

Factors including student loans can stand in the way of younger respondents ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ having extra cash in the bank. Sluggish wage growth and the declining ratio of employed workers to the total labor force have also been attributed to the slow recovery of the economy. Households headed by young college-educated adults without student debt have about seven times the net worth of households headed by young college graduates with student debt, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

Despite such factors, the Bankrate report shows that 18-30 year-olds are the most likely to have up to five months worth of expenses saved, while people between the age of 30 and 49 are the most likely to have no emergency savings.

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“Many of those under age 30 have the benefit of lower expenses due to roommates, living with their parents or being students,” McBride said. “Ages 30 through 49 are high-spending years when expenses often rise faster than emergency savings can keep up."

People with a high school education or less were 36 percent likely to have no emergency savings, compared with 10 percent likely for college grads. Respondents who identified as black were 40 percent likely to have no emergency savings, compared with 21 percent for those who identified as white.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted the phone interview of 1,004 Americans​ from June 5 to June 8. The data has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent. ​​