CompareCards Survey Finds Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Have Cried About Money

Key findings:

  • Crying about money is common. Around 7 in 10 Americans say they have cried over something related to their finances.
  • It’s been a tough year for many. 57% of Americans said they teared up sometime this year — usually because they were upset.
  • Young people are especially likely to say they’ve cried recently. Nearly 48% of millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 said they’ve cried over money at least once in the past month. A similar proportion of Generation Z members between the ages of 18 and 22 said the same.
  • Money is a chief stressor for a major portion of the population. At least 4 in 10 Americans agree with the statement, “Nothing makes me cry more than money.”
  • Debt is by far the biggest stressor driving people to tears. Employment stress and living expenses also weigh heavily.
  • Political divisions even extend to debt. Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they cried because of student debt.

Crying about money is common

Among those who have cried because of money, most say they were brought to tears fairly recently. For example:

  • 36% of respondents said they cried sometime in the past month.
  • 21% said they cried sometime in the past year.
  • Just 13% of people who said they’ve cried over money said it’s been more than a year since the last time money brought them to tears.

Not every respondent cried because they were feeling upset, though. A number of respondents said they were moved to tears by happy events that made their lives richer or less financially stressful. For example:

  • Almost three-fourths of respondents said they cried because of negative emotions. However, 29% said they cried because they were happy.
  • For example, 13% cried because of a financial windfall.
  • 12% were moved to tears by a gift.
  • Men were twice as likely as women to say they were moved to tears by a positive event related to their finances.
  • People with larger incomes are more likely to say they were moved to tears by something positive.

Young people are especially likely to say they’ve cried recently

Young people in their 20s and 30s are much more likely than older generations to become emotional over money, the survey found ⁠— perhaps because many are dealing with more acute financial stressors.

Members of both Generation Y and Generation Z, for example, are more than twice as likely as baby boomers to have recently cried about their finances. They are also more likely to say that student loans, personal loan debt, auto loans or credit card debt have, at times, brought them to tears. In addition, millennials are significantly more likely than their baby boomer parents to say they’ve cried over their mortgage or rent payments.

Many 20- and 30-somethings are also first-time parents and are raising kids on a limited budget, which may also be contributing to their stress. According to the CompareCards survey, for example, parents of minors are substantially more likely than other Americans to say they’ve recently cried over their finances.

Money is a chief stressor for a major portion of the population

At least 4 in 10 Americans agree with the statement, “Nothing makes me cry more than money.”

  • Men are more likely than women to agree with that statement. For example, 47% of men agree that money makes them more emotional than anything else, compared to 34% of women.
  • Millennials ⁠— many of whom are saddled with student loan debt, building their careers or raising young families ⁠— are also twice as likely as baby boomers to agree.

Debt is by far the biggest stressor driving people to tears

The top stressors causing people to cry, for example, include:

  • Household debt: 31% of people say their overall debt situations have made them emotional.
  • High-interest credit card balances: 20% of respondents said credit card debt in particular had made them cry.
  • Unemployment: 15% of people said they cried over a lost job.
  • Cost of living problems: 14% of respondents said that rent or mortgage issues made them tearful.
  • A cramped budget: 14% of people said that drafting or attempting to stick to a budget led them to tears.

Besides credit card debt and housing debt, a number of Americans say they’re stressed out by:

  • Student loan debt: 13%
  • Medical debt: 12%
  • Personal loan debt: 10%

Several other financial stressors have also pushed people to tears, such as:

  • Credit scores: 13%
  • Taxes: 12%
  • Identity theft: 6%
  • Retirement: 6%
  • The stock market: 5%

Meanwhile, 7% said they had other reasons for feeling emotional. Another 5% said that none of the common stressors listed had ever brought them to tears.

To view the full report and for more information, visit

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation’s leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers’ credit accounts against offers on our network, and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree’s purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life’s meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

About CompareCards:
CompareCards’ mission is to help people make smarter, more informed, healthier financial decisions based on deeper knowledge of financial offers. Each month, over 2.9 million visitors come to CompareCards’ website to independently compare credit cards side-by-side and choose a credit card based on interest rate, reward benefit, cost savings, and other factors that are important to each person. CompareCards provides easy-to-use, objective tools and educational resources that help people do everything from making credit card comparisons to managing their credit health. For more information, please visit


SOURCE CompareCards

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