Most Nevadans are ‘on the edge of financial disaster,’ report says
Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun file
A majority of Nevadans are living “on the edge of financial disaster” with almost no savings to fall back on, a new report says.
Some 62.5 percent of state households have less than three months of savings to rely on in the event of a job loss, medical crisis or other financial emergency. And for 44 percent, the assets they do have “are overwhelmed by debt,” according to a report out today from the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington, D.C.
The nonprofit group’s “Assets & Opportunity Scorecard” painted a dark picture of Nevada consumers, ranking the Silver State worst among all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its residents’ ability to achieve financial security.
Nevada had the highest rates of “underbanked” households (31.2 percent), bankruptcies (8.6 per 1,000 people), unemployment (13.1 percent), delinquent mortgage loans (6.3 percent) and uninsured low-income children (26 percent).
Additionally, almost 68 percent of Nevadans have subprime credit scores, second-worst in the United States.
At least one of those figures has improved since the group apparently collected its data. State officials recently reported that Nevada’s jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent in December, the lowest since February 2009 but still above the national rate of 7.8 percent.
The CFED’s report comes more than four months after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported that 33 percent of Las Vegas Valley households were underbanked in 2011, up from 20 percent two years earlier.
The banking regulator defines “underbanked” as households with checking or savings accounts that also used nonbank money orders, check-cashing stores, payday loans, pawn shops and other alternative lenders.
About 57 percent of valley households in 2011 were fully banked, meaning they had a bank account and didn’t use any alternative lending, down from 71 percent in 2009, the FDIC reported.