A massive 48 per cent couldn't stomach a 25 per cent cut in their income - double the proportion of mortgage borrowers who would struggle.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in four of us doesn’t have the savings to cover a 25 per cent drop in our income.
That’s the UK Statistics Authority’s measure for finanical resilience.
More worryingly, this figure rises to almost half (48 per cent of renters), compared to just 22 per cent of mortgagors and only seven per cent of those who own their home outright.
The figure is even higher for single parents, at 55 per cent, compared to 31 per cent of couples with children and 15 per cent of couples without kids.
It rises to 28 per cent among single people, compared to 15 per cent of couples without kids. And the figure is 34 per cent where the main earner has a long-term illness or disability.
Borrowers and renters both squeezed
The ONS also found that 61 per cent of single parents are struggling with their mortgage or rent (and 42 per cent of couples with kids), while 26 per cent admit they have run out of food and not been able to replace it.
Among renters, 53 per cent can’t afford a bill out of the blue and 13 per cent have not been able to affotf to replace food.
Some 55 per cent have trouble paying their rent – compared to just 34 per cent of those with a mortgage.
Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The ever-tightening squeeze on our finances has been painful for us all, but for some it has been agonising.
“It has crushed the resilience of single parents, renters, single people living alone and those with long-term illnesses or disabilities. However, this isn’t the full extent of the damage done, because there’s more pain lying in store for those with a mortgage.
“The ONS figures show that mortgage unaffordability has only risen slightly from the spring, reflecting the fact that 88% of mortgages are fixed. It means we’ve only felt a fraction of the pain lying in wait for those with a mortgage.”