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Americans' feelings on financial security

Slightly more than half of Americans – 51 percent -- have more emergency savings than credit card debt, the lowest percentage since Bankrate.com began tracking this issue in 2011. More than 1-in-4 – 28 percent – have more credit card debt than emergency savings, and that is the highest percentage in the past 4 years. A further 17 percent have neither emergency savings nor credit card debt.

Americans have made no progress in this area in recent years, a reflection of the stagnant incomes, long-term unemployment and high household expenses that are hampering the financial progress of many Americans. To that point, Americans between the ages of 30 and 64, which are typically the prime earning years, are more likely than any other age group to have more credit card debt than emergency savings.

The stock market's rocky start to the year and a run of less-than-stellar economic readings have put a dent in consumers' feelings of financial security, with Bankrate.com's Financial Security Index falling to 99.3. This is the lowest level since November, and a level indicative of deteriorating financial security compared to the year before.

Americans already poor comfort level with savings dropped to the lowest level in a year, while comfort level with debt and feelings about overall financial situation both dropped to neutral readings from what had been consistently upbeat levels.

For more information on this month's Financial Security Index, just visit Bankrate.com. I'm Greg McBride.

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