1 in 3 Consumers Earning $250K Live Paycheck to Paycheck

As rising inflation makes it increasingly difficult to pay bills and build savings, U.S. consumers of all types are now living paycheck to paycheck — including those at the highest income levels. 

In fact, slightly more than one in three consumers earning more than $250,000 in annual income lived paycheck to paycheck in April, according to “The New Reality Check,” a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration based on a survey of 4,048 U.S. consumers. 

Get the report: The New Reality Check 

The survey found that among those earning more than $250,000, 24% lived paycheck to paycheck but are comfortable, while 12% lived paycheck to paycheck with difficulty. 

While 36% of these high-income consumers lived paycheck to paycheck — with or without difficulty — in April, this share was smaller than that of consumers in other income brackets who lived paycheck to paycheck that month. 

Thirty-six percent of consumers earning between $200,000 and $250,000, 41% of those earning $150,000 to $200,000, 47% of those earning $100,000 to $150,000, 64% of those earning $50,000 to $100,000 and 80% of those earning less than $50,000 reported that they lived paycheck to paycheck in April. 

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PYMNTS research also found that consumers’ average credit scores tend to increase with income. 

The average credit scores of consumers in the different income brackets are as follows: 758 for those earning more than $250,000, 746 for those earning $200,000 to $250,000, 742 for those earning $150,000 to $200,000, 726 for those earning $100,000 to $150,000, 701 for those earning $50,000 to $100,00 and 641 for those earning less than $50,000. 

Like many paycheck-to-paycheck consumers, those who report earning more than $250,000 and living paycheck to paycheck remain creditworthy, maintain above-average credit scores and are apt to tap into credit cards and other payment options, such as personal loans, to manage their cash flows.