24 percent of Americans have no emergency savings

The economic downturn continues to cause financial problems for numerous Americans, who often have to choose between putting money in savings or paying off debt. Many are in such dire straits that they don't even think about setting aside funds for an emergency.

According to a recent Bankrate.com study, only 24 percent of Americans have a six-month emergency savings account. The same percentage of consumers have no emergency account at all.

"The majority of Americans still have much work to do in building an adequate emergency savings cushion," said Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. "Those most likely to have an adequate savings cushion are individuals in their 50s and 60s and higher-income households. But even among these groups, at least half do not have six months' expenses in an emergency fund."

Consumers focusing on revitalizing their finances and getting their credit in order may benefit from finding ways to set aside funds in an emergency account.

In addition, they should also review their credit report to ensure all the listed data is accurate and can be verified. Spotting and removing troublesome and problematic items can be an effective way to improve credit.