How Many Americans Are Struggling With Their Home Payments?

Are Americans choosing to go without meals, medical care, and are working overtime at work to afford housing? According to a new study from Redfin, 49.9% of respondents to a new study reported struggling with their monthly mortgage or rent payments and are now making sacrifices to defray these costs. 

According to Redfin, the most common sacrifice people reported taking was no or fewer vacations. More than one-third of homeowners and renters (34.5%) who struggle to afford housing indicated that they skipped vacations in the past year in order to afford their monthly costs. 

But many people who struggle to afford housing made more serious sacrifices: 22% skipped meals and 20.7% worked extra hours at their job. A similar share (20.6%) sold belongings. 

It should be noted that this survey has a two-month lag period; it was conducted in February 2024 and fielded to roughly 3,000 homeowners and renters. Most of Redfin’s report focuses on the 1,494 respondents who indicated that they sometimes, regularly or greatly struggle to afford regular rent or mortgage payments. 

By the numbers, more than one of every six people (17.9%) who struggle to afford housing borrowed money from friends/family, and 17.6% dipped into their retirement savings. Over one in seven (15.6%) delayed or skipped medical treatments. 

“Housing has become so financially burdensome in America that some families can no longer afford other essentials, including food and medical care, and have been forced to make major sacrifices, work overtime and ask others for money so they can cover their monthly costs,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Fortunately, the country’s leaders are starting to pay attention, and homebuyers may get a reprieve in June if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates, which would bring down the cost of getting a mortgage.” 

Mortgage payments are near their all-time high due to rising prices and elevated mortgage rates: The median U.S. home sale price is up about 5% from a year ago, and mortgage rates are hovering around 7%, not far from the 23-year high of roughly 8% hit in October. The typical household earns roughly $30,000 less than it needs to afford the median-priced home, and rents are on the rise again. 

Click here for the survey in its entirety. 

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at
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