New UnidosUS survey finds Latinos are worried about their economic security

Despite modest gains accessing financial products, many continue to pay high fees, and struggle with high debts and low savings

WASHINGTON, DC— A new UnidosUS survey of 1,200 Latinos in Arizona, California and Texas finds that many are stressed about their financial situation and struggling to make ends meet.

The survey was conducted by BSP Research and jointly commissioned by UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—and Oportun, a Community Development Financial Institution and provider of affordable and responsible financial services. This survey updates a 2022 poll conducted by UnidosUS during the pandemic, and is one of the largest studies UnidosUS has undertaken to understand the financial situation of the 62 million Latinos living in the United States. The survey focuses on Arizona, California and Texas, states with high concentrations of Latinos.

Latinos are making important contributions to the economy, making up $3.2 trillion in total economic output which has grown by two and a half times in the last decade. Latino economic output in California, Texas, and Arizona amounts to $680 billion, $465 billion, and $73 billion, respectively. Latinos have also experienced some positive outcomes at the macroeconomic level with unemployment at near historic lows, real wages rising for low-income workers, and inflation continuing to decline.

However, our survey of Latinos in Texas, Arizona and California shows that many remain concerned and stressed about their financial situation. The survey found the rising cost of day-to-day expenses and lack of income are top concerns, and that 52% of respondents are worried about being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage.

“Latinos continue to struggle to stay afloat financially,” said Eric Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at UnidosUS. “These results underscore the need for the financial industry to do more to lower costs and reach marginalized consumers, and for policymakers to address Latinos’ economic concerns and do more to consolidate the economic gains from the past few years.”

The survey found that Latinos continue to pay higher costs and have less access to financial products and services than other groups. Among other takeaways, it also found that:

  • Overdraft and credit card late fees remain a concern, with 30% and 25% of respondents paying an overdraft or credit card late fee, respectively, in the past year.
  • The unbanked rate for Latinos dropped to 10%, down from 15% two years ago, but remains elevated compared to the national average of 4.5%.
  • Latinos are turning to alternative products that are often risky and costly, with 56% of respondents saying they used services such as check cashers, payday loans, car title loans, pawn shops, tax refund loans, or a high-cost personal loan.
  • Latinos are struggling with student debt. Fifty-three percent of Latinos with student loans reported going into deferment or forbearance, and 19% said their loans went into default.
  • Loans and debt are impacting Latinos’ well-being, with 69% of respondents with any type of loan saying debt is impacting their ability to save for retirement and 51% saying debt is impacting their ability to afford healthcare.
  • Many Latinos are unprepared for a sudden financial need. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents reporting that they have $400 or less saved in case of an emergency.
  • Latinos are struggling to save for retirement, with 47% of respondents aged 40 and over having $40,000 or less in retirement savings.

This survey is the latest effort by UnidosUS to understand the financial health of the 62 million Latinos living in the US. UnidosUS also recently conducted a national poll of Latino voters to inform policymakers and the public about the views of this important and growing electorate

The complete findings and methodology of the study can be found here.


About Oportun 

Oportun (Nasdaq: OPRT) is a mission-driven fintech and community development financial institution (CDFI) that puts its members’ financial goals within reach. With intelligent borrowing, savings, and budgeting capabilities, Oportun empowers members with the confidence to build a better financial future. Since inception, Oportun has provided more than $18.2 billion in responsible and affordable credit, saved its members more than $2.4 billion in interest and fees, and helped its members save an average of more than $1,800 annually. For more information, visit Oportun serves customers online, over the phone, and in-person in English and Spanish in the following 12 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. For more information on Oportun please visit