What’s The No. 1 Cause Of Financial Stress For Tenants?

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Your tenants are facing the highest financial stress rate in the past five years according to a new study from a personal financing and consumer banking site.

While you hear about the high cost of housing and rising rents, GOBankingRates surveyed over 7,000 Americans to get to the root of financial stress in the U.S. and found that the No. 1 cause is paying off debt, according to a release.

"Our survey results reiterate the impact the current debt crisis is having on Americans, really, no matter where in the country they are living," said Kristen Bonner, lead researcher on the study. "Americans are suffering from paying off their past expenses rather than looking forward and focusing on setting up their financial future."

The study visualized findings on the state level, identifying the top source of money-related stress in each state – populations in two-thirds of the states agree that paying down debt is their top financial anxiety.

The survey, executed by Google Consumer Surveys and commissioned by GOBankingRates, posed the following question:

Of the following, what is your No. 1 cause of financial stress?

The national breakdown of the findings is as follows:

  • Paying off my debt (i.e. credit cards) – 20.6%
  • Not being able to retire – 15.6%
  • Not having enough money to fund an emergency – 15.6%
  • Wanting a nicer lifestyle — 14%
  • Paying for education – 13.1%
  • Lack of stable income – 11.7%
  • Paying my mortgage or rent – 9.4%

Cause of financial stress

Financial stress survey insights:

  • Males and females agree that paying off debt is their No. 1 financial stressor
  • Adults aged 18-24 years stated that paying for education is their No. 1 financial stressor
  • Not being able to retire is the most top stressors for adults aged 45-64. Those 65 and older are most concerned with not having enough money to fund an emergency
  • The top financial stressor in low median income states like Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma is not having enough money to fund an emergency
  • Washington, DC  — home to the second-highest cost of living in the nation— is one of two places to rank "wanting a nicer lifestyle" as the No. 1 cause of financial stress

State

No. 1 Financial Stressor

AK

Paying off my debt

AL

Paying off my debt

AR

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

AZ

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

CA

Paying off my debt

CO

Paying off my debt

CT

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

DC

Wanting a nicer lifestyle

DE

TIE: Not being able to retire, Wanting a nicer lifestyle

FL

Paying off my debt

GA

Paying off my debt

HI

Paying for education

IA

Not being able to retire

ID

Paying for education

IL

Paying off my debt

IN

Paying off my debt

KS

Paying off my debt

KY

Paying off my debt

LA

Paying off my debt

MA

TIE: Not being able to retire, Paying for education

MD

Paying off my debt

ME

TIE: Not being able to retire, Paying off my debt

MI

Paying off my debt

MN

Paying off my debt

MO

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

MS

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

MT

Paying off my debt

NC

Paying off my debt

ND

Paying off my debt

NE

Paying off my debt

NH

TIE: Not having enough money to fund an emergency, Paying off my debt

NJ

Not being able to retire

NM

Paying off my debt

NV

Paying off my debt

NY

Paying off my debt

OH

Paying off my debt

OK

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

OR

Paying off my debt

PA

Paying off my debt

RI

TIE: Lack of stable income, Paying off my debt

SC

Paying off my debt

SD

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

TN

Paying off my debt

TX

Paying off my debt

UT

Paying off my debt

VA

Paying off my debt

VT

TIE: Not being able to retire, Paying for education, Paying my mortgage or rent

WA

Paying off my debt

WI

Not having enough money to fund an emergency

WV

Paying off my debt

See the state by state break down of financial stress here.

Cost of Renting vs. Owning

Housing such as rents and mortgages is the biggest expense for many Americans, accounting for more than 30 percent of a household’s yearly expenditures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But housing costs can vary greatly, depending on where you live — and whether you’re a renter or owner.

Last month gobankingrates.com also surveyed the cost of renting vs. cost of owning across the country.

financial stress and cost of owning vs renting

“Mortgage rates have been near historic lows for quite some time now,”  Svenja Gudell, chief economist of real estate and rental marketplace Zillow., told gobankingrates.com.  “This makes those monthly payments lower than monthly rent.”

With rents so high, though, it can be difficult to save up for a down payment and make the jump to homeownership, she said. If you’re considering becoming a homeowner, click through to find out if you should own or rent a home in your state.

Methodology: This GOBankingRates survey posed the question, "Of the following, what is your number 1 cause of financial stress?" to 7,054 people among all 50 states and Washington, DC. Respondents could select one of the following answer options: 1) "Paying off my debt (i.e. credit cards)" 2) "Not being able to retire" 3) "Not having enough money to fund an emergency" 4) "Wanting a nicer lifestyle," 5) "Paying for education," 6) "Lack of stable income" or 7) "Paying my mortgage or rent." Responses were collected through a Google Consumer Survey conducted from July 12, 2016 to July 14, 2016, and responses are representative of the U.S. online population. The survey has a 1.75 percent margin of error.