22.6 Million Americans Can Cover Their Bills Through July If They Get a $1,400 Stimulus Check

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Feb. 24, 2021

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A young woman sitting at the kitchen counter smiles as she looks over her personal finance calculations.

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The money will make a big difference for struggling Americans.

Many people have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. And over 30 million Americans are struggling to pay the bills.

President Joe Biden and other D.C. leaders are working to provide these individuals and families with relief. In fact, the coronavirus aid plan that's on the table would authorize $1,400 direct payments to Americans' bank accounts.

Recently, Morning Consult evaluated how these $1,400 stimulus checks would affect people's financial situations. Its research showed the money could make a major impact, allowing as many as 22.6 million Americans to fully cover their bills through the middle of July.

$1,400 stimulus checks would mean millions more could cover their bills

According to Morning Consult, an estimated 30.2 million Americans couldn't afford to pay all their bills in January. This included a disproportionately large share of households with annual earnings of under $50,000.

This is a substantial number of families without enough funds to cover the essentials. Even more so when you consider they would have received a stimulus payment of $600 per adult and dependent child in December.

Morning Consult indicates the $600 check didn't make much of an impact on the total number of people whose expenses exceeded their incomes. The report says it brought people closer to covering their costs but didn't reduce the number of people who were struggling.

For many people who couldn't cover their bills, the shortfall was relatively small. In fact, 75% of them were short by $300 or less. If these individuals were to receive a $1,400 stimulus check, it would make a huge impact on their ability to cover costs.

In fact, the data shows a $1,400 payment would make it possible for 22.6 million adults to fully cover their household expenses for at least 4.5 months. That's without going further into debt or drawing on whatever's left of their savings. If checks were to be distributed at the beginning of March, this money could take these individuals all the way through July.

7.5 million will still need additional help

Unfortunately, the remainder of struggling Americans face larger shortfalls. A significant proportion are short $500 or more. Stimulus checks won't do enough to bring them out of the hole for any length of time, and Morning Consult suggests they need a different type of relief. It did not, however, specify exactly what type of aid might work.

This data is important as lawmakers consider how best to aid those who are facing COVID-19 hardship. Stimulus payments will make a substantial difference for millions, but a small number of individuals will need more than this one-time $1,400 payment.

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