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Providers Household Pulse Survey: January 2024

The following insights come from a <10-minute multiple choice and open response survey conducted by Providers. This month, responses came from 3,062 randomly selected households out of over 5M Providers users from January 1 - January 14, 2024. All respondents are EBT cardholders.

Providers Household Pulse Survey: January 2024

Household debt climbed in several categories from December to January, with credit card debt surging nearly 60%. 

  • The share of surveyed users owing credit card debt rose 57% from 35% in the December survey to 55% this past month.

  • The share of respondents with past-due rent or mortgage payments also rose 29% to 22% overall, and the percentage of respondents owing on utility bills rose 35% to 38% overall. 

  • 29% of respondents took loans from family or friends in the last month, a 27% increase from December.

“I've had to borrow money from neighbors and I really don't know how I'm going to pay back.” – Johnny, WI


Food insecurity indicators ticked up slightly post-holidays as grocery inflation continues to weigh households down. 

  • The share of respondents that skipped meals, ate less, or relied on family and friends for food in the last month all rose between 2-4%. 

  • 37% of surveyed users skipped meals in the last month, a 28% year-on-year increase, and 45% of surveyed users ate less in the last month, a 41% year-on-year increase.

  • 90% of respondents reported that their basic monthly food purchases cost more now than a year ago. 

“EBT is the only reason I have eaten.” – Arion, OR
“I received a food box for Christmas from the Sunshine Division. I was so happy I cried. It would have been the first Christmas I would have gone without a Christmas dinner. I used the leftover turkey for almost a week in meals I made. December was the first month I did not run out of my SNAP a week or two before I got it again in about 5 months. Bless everyone that makes these things happen.” – Tracy, OR


January saw the lowest levels of housing instability in over two years. 

  • The share of respondents in unstable housing (e.g motel, car, or shelter) fell 8% to 11.4% overall – the lowest levels since August 2021. 

  • The share of respondents who had their utilities shut off in the last month dropped 15% to 8.7% overall – the lowest levels since last March. 

  • Utility shut-offs in the last month are higher among households of color, affecting 12% of Black and 11% of Latinx respondents, compared to 7% of white respondents.

“I've moved in with my family to save money and help my ailing mother. We had hoped I could finally be on my own but the cost of living is too much for one person to live alone. It's completely unfathomable.” – Ember, PA
“Me and my children are currently staying at a motel due to inflation...The community resources are not really helpful and they make people feel uncomfortable and it's really hard to get help through government agencies. So I just do all I can like selling plasma to help make ends meet.” – Charmaine, DE 

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