"Low income" is open to interpretation, but people with incomes below the poverty line are generally considered low-income earners. According to a September 2012 "U.S. News & World Report" article, the poverty line at that point was in an income of $23,050 for a family of four. About 15 percent of Americans earned incomes below that line. The lower-middle class income range was considered $32,500 to $60,000, so anyone below $32,500 was considered lower class in income.

More Low-Income Factors

Many people who fall within the lowest 20 to 30 percent of income earners actually perceive themselves as middle class, according to FinAid.org. While a low income limits your spending abilities, you do normally pay a smaller portion of taxes and may even qualify for earned income credit, which leads to a bigger tax refund. Some financial aid opportunities are also need-based, which favors low-income households.