The Average Renter Have Just 118 Days Before Becoming Homeless

  • Written by SELF Inc

Study Reveals Many Renters Have Just 118 Days Of Funds Before Becoming Homeless

Self Financial has examined how close Americans are from homelessness by examining the average savings and spending of citizens in each state

  • The average American renter, without any savings, is 118 days from homelessness, while the average homeowner is 228 days from losing their home

  • 40% of American adults would be unable to pay for an unexpected $400 expense, due to a lack of saving and funds

  • The average renter without savings in Wyoming has just 60 days between them and homelessness, compared to a renter in Mississippi who has 129 days

  • The latest data reveals that 34% of US households are not current on rent or mortgage and believe they might be evicted or foreclosed in the next 2 months

  • 50% of people made unemployed through the pandemic have had to use pension savings to keep up with costs, withdrawing an average of $6,757 from savings

  • The Biden administration’s plans to provide US citizens with a total of $2000 in stimulus checks, would give the average American renter (without savings) an additional 22 days between them and homelessness

65 million Americans live at risk of losing their homes within 7.5 months of a decline of their finances, lowering to as little as 118 days in relation to renters. This is according to a recent study by Self Financial has analyzed how many days from homelessness the average American lives.

To see the full analysis of how close Americans across the nation live to homelessness, view the study here: 

How Close Do Americans Live From Becoming Homeless

According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of working-age American’s would struggle or be unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense. 

With this in mind, using government and financial institution data to analyze the amount of savings and costs by state, Self Financial has been able to produce a breakdown as to just how many days the average American is from homelessness.

The study found that 64.8 million Americans are at risk of losing their homes within 7.5 months, with the average renter, without savings, having just under 4 months (118 days) worth of savings and assets to support them if they lost their income.

Meanwhile, the average homeowner, according to the results of the study, would be able to avoid homelessness for 7.5 months (228 days).

The study found that a Millennial renter with no savings or retirement fund is, on average, a little over 3 months (114 days) away from becoming homeless, should they experience a disruption in income. While the average Millennial homeowner, with no savings or other funds, would have a period of 227 days (just over 7 months) before they would likely become homeless.

The average financially-secure Baby Boomer, with retirement, cash funds, who is also a home-owner, would be over 55 months (4.5 years) away from homelessness if they were to lose their income today.

Impact of COVID-19

The Self Financial study found that the COVID-19 pandemic has likely exacerbated this issue. According to the latest [Week 22] US Census Bureau data, 34% (84 million) adults are living in households “not current on rent or mortgage where eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either very likely or somewhat likely”; while 8.9% are at risk of not being able to afford their next mortgage or rent payment.

If these figures from the US Census Bureau are accurate, it would suggest that 22 million people in the US are unlikely to be able to afford the roof over their head within the next month.

Combine this with the Bureau For Labour Statistics revealing that 10.7 million adults were unemployed in December, with as many as 1 in 4 U.S. adults saying they or someone in their household has been laid off over the course of the pandemic; there’s a genuine worry many will soon be in trouble of affording their homes.

Self Financial’s study found approximately 50% of people who had lost their jobs (and had retirement funds) had needed to withdraw some cash from their savings - averaging $6,757 per person, pushing the average jobless person in the US 73 days closer to homelessness.

Stimulus Support

The study discovered that the first stimulus package, valued at $1200 per person, saw those that received them gain an additional 12-13 days from homelessness, should their income stop. Additionally, while various moratoriums helped prevent a wave of evictions and foreclosures across the US, the debts of those unable to pay were at least given close to an extra 2 weeks to find a new source of income.

In January, the Biden Administration announced its proposal for a $1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan’ that would see $463 billion budgeted to help citizens via another round of checks, using Decembers approved $600 checks as a down payment along with a further $1400 check, to provide $2000 worth of support for citizens.

This $2000 of support would provide the average adult in the US with an additional 3 weeks (22 days) between them and ‘homelessness’. 

Lauren Bringle, Accredited Financial Counselor, at Self Financial comments

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many US adults were already treading a thin line in relation to their finances, however, the COVID-19 impact has exacerbated this.”

“Our study into how close Americans are to homelessness highlights the seriousness of the financial situation many adults in the US are facing; with a clear disparity between those renting and those owning their own homes.”

“To help shore up your finances, save money in a rainy day fund, budget for costs, build your credit, and chip away at loans and other debt where possible."

Link to further information: 

Self Financial ( is a fintech company based in Austin, Texas, dedicated to helping people build credit and save money with a range of financial products. 

Additional commentary and insights from Self Financial and other experts can be provided on request.


This study analyzed the financial and personal situation of the average American in each state, and what safety nets would be in place should someone fall close to becoming homeless. 

The analysis accounts for retirement funds, withdrawal penalties, taxes, cash savings, the value of belongings and their sale-value (based on a 1-bed apartment from insurance figures), state-specific benefits, the average cost of living, grace periods from both landlords and lenders (for renters and mortgage holders), and average debt in the form of auto and credit card repayments. These factors are based on the average American in each state, therefore, each state’s cash figures vary. Generational comparisons are based on financial data primarily from Statista and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies data alongside all other aforementioned state-specific financial analyses.