Many blacks and Hispanics need stimulus checks just to ‘get by’: survey
People line up outside a food distribution facility in the Harlem section of Manhattan on January 27, 2021. Using a food bank is one of the top three emergency measures Americans have been forced to take during Covid, according to a new CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
The Covid-19 pandemic has occurred amid an increased focus on economic and racial inequalities in the United States, and as the Biden administration seeks a large Covid stimulus relief package, daily financial needs and stress are greatest according to race, ethnicity and gender.
Half (50%) of African Americans and 40% of Hispanics rely on another round of government financial aid just to “get by” compared to just 22% of white respondents who feel this level of financial anxiety. according to a new CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey conducted by SurveyMonkey. Thirty-one percent of Asian Americans said they were relying on stimulus payments.
Twenty percent of white respondents to the survey said they didn’t need stimulus checks and that the government should give the money to someone else who needs it. This is roughly twice the percentage of African Americans and Hispanics who responded in the same way.
Meanwhile, those who need Covid’s financial help the most are less likely to receive it quickly. Although more than three-quarters (76%) of whites say they have received at least one payment for Covid-19 aid from the government, only 67% of Hispanics and 65% of blacks say they have received the funds, according to the survey, which was conducted between February 1 and February 8 among more than 6,100 Americans. Among those of Asian-American descent, 61% said they had received payments.
Louis Barajas, CFP, member of the CNBC Financial Advisors Council says the data on receipt of payments may be explained by a lower reliance on direct deposit by Latinos.
“Checks are more likely to get lost in the mail, so if you don’t have a bank account for direct deposit, it’s easier to miss your stimulus payment,” says Barajas.
The poll highlights the disparate daily impact of the coronavirus pandemic by race and sex.
A plurality of survey respondents spent the stimulus payment on daily expenses (31%), but a greater proportion of blacks and Hispanics spent it on rents or mortgages than whites. Among Latinos, 27% spent it on housing payments, the highest proportion of any group in the survey. Twenty-six percent of black respondents said they spent a stimulus payment on housing, compared to 12% of whites.
Differences in access to cash savings are also apparent: while 58% of whites would have access to their savings account if they needed $ 2,000 in an emergency, only 38% of Hispanics surveyed would. the same. Meanwhile, 14% of Latinos – the highest proportion of any group – responded that they would borrow it from a friend or relative, perhaps highlighting a traditional savings or banking gap between racial groups. .
White (20%) and Asian-American (25%) respondents were the most likely to say they had saved a Covid stimulus payment, compared to 9% of black respondents and 14% of Latinos.
A survey conducted throughout the year by SurveyMonkey and other research companies has continuously shown that people of color face greater economic challenges as a result of the pandemic, including jobs lost and businesses closed. , and they are less likely to have been able to work. from home, which puts them at increased risk of being exposed to Covid-19, according to SurveyMonkey.
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“These latest data show how much more precarious people of color are in financially, which the pandemic has only exacerbated,” said Laura Wronski, research scientist at SurveyMonkey. Company’s recent poll shows Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package has the support of around seven in ten people across the country, which is very high, but that support is even higher among minorities. “This latest data clearly explains why: Blacks, Hispanics and Asians are more dependent on federal aid during this crisis, and they are more worried than others that they will not be able to do without it,” she said.
73% of Americans have at least one form of debt, according to the survey, and Latinos are the group with the highest proportion of credit card and student loan debt, while African Americans are the most likely to ‘have medical debts.
“I saw that some Hispanics took on a lot of credit card debt during the pandemic to pay for essential expenses,” Barajas said.
In addition, 40% of Americans have had to take emergency measures to manage their finances in the wake of the pandemic. Top three actions taken: tap emergency savings (13%), borrow money from a family member or friend (12%), and use a food bank (11%).
“Latinos are very family oriented, and I have seen many families help each other more than ever before. I have seen many families lend money to their children when they have lost their jobs because of Covid, ”Barajas said. “Family unity and the pooling of resources have been of great help to Latinos during this crisis.”
Women belonging to a minority were the most affected by the pandemic. African American and Hispanic women report the highest rates of emergency financial measures, with 23% of African American women and 17% of Hispanic women borrowing from family or friends, compared to just 9% of white men . Additionally, 21% of African American women and 19% of Hispanics have used a food bank, compared to 9% of African American or Hispanic men and 8% of white men.
Some Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans were able to take positive financial action during the pandemic, with 10% of Latinos opening a bank account and retirement account for the first time in the past 12 months, and 11% of Africans. Americans are making similar moves. Thirteen percent of blacks and Hispanics bought stocks for the first time; this figure was 14% among Asian Americans. Some Latinos have also achieved the American dream of homeownership for the first time: 6% of Latinos bought their first home during the pandemic.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures Invest in Tassels.