Unexpected expenses hit nonprime Americans faster, harder

Nonprime Americans are more likely to be hit sooner and harder than their counterparts with prime credit scores, Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class reveals in their latest research. Nonprime Americans are defined as those with sub-700 credit scores.
The differences are stark:
  • Nonprimes can only withstand an unexpected expense equal to 31 per cent of their monthly incomes, while the rate for primes rises to 53 per cent.
  • A crisis bill for nonprimes starts at $1,400, primes $2,900. Many common expenses fall between the two figures.
  • Close to 50 per cent of nonprimes have four or more disrupting expense events per year, close to double the rate of primes.
  • Nonprimes can only survive half as long after an income drop.
  • Half of nonprimes have a fluctuating monthly income.
“We wanted to understand the point at which an expected expense becomes a crisis,” Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class executive director Jonathan Walker said. “The financial fragility of nonprime Americans is not a simple problem. Deep understanding is required to find solutions that will be constructive and sustainable.”