Overwhelming Majority of Americans Say Personal Finances Need Major Overhaul

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According to the April poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website, when asked to describe the state of their personal financial situation, 80 percent of more than 1,400 respondents admitted their finances were in need of a major overhaul.

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It is encouraging that people recognize how perilous their financial situation has become. Now they need to take action to resolve the problem and keep it from spiraling out of control.

According to the April poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website, when asked to describe the state of their personal financial situation, 80 percent of more than 1,400 respondents admitted their finances were in need of a major overhaul.

“This statistic parallels the findings of the recent NFCC Financial Literacy Survey in which eighty percent of adults indicated they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “It is encouraging that people recognize how perilous their financial situation has become. Now they need to take action to resolve the problem and keep it from spiraling out of control.”

To help consumers determine if their finances could use an overhaul, the NFCC developed the following ten-question True/False quiz:

1.    My credit card balances increase each month.

2.    There are arguments in my home about money.

3.    I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.

4.    Most of my credit cards are near the limit, so I’ve begun applying for new lines of credit.

5.    I do not know the total amount that I owe.

6.    I skip paying my bills some months, or pay late.

7.    My debt interferes with my job and/or home life.

8.    Collectors have begun contacting me.

9.    If I lost my job, it would mean an immediate financial crisis in my life.

10.    I have no emergency savings account.

Consumers answering True to any of the above questions would benefit from credit counseling with a trained and certified counselor. To locate the NFCC Member Agency counselor nearest you, go online to http://www.DebtAdvice.org or call (800) 388-2227. For assistance in Spanish, dial (800) 682-9832.

The actual survey question and responses were as follows:

My personal finances
A.    Are putting along just fine = 4%
B.    Could use a tune-up = 13%
C.    Are in need of a major overhaul = 80%
D.    Have never been better = 3%

Note: The NFCC’s April Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site (http://www.DebtAdvice.org) from April 1 - 01, 2012 and was answered by 1,454 individuals.

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The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help more than three million consumers through close to 750 community-based offices nationwide. For free and affordable confidential advice through a reputable NFCC Member, call (800) 388-2227, (en Español (800) 682-9832) or visit http://www.nfcc.org. Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFCCDebtAdvice, on Twitter: twitter.com/NFCCDebtAdvice, on YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/NFCC09 and our blog: http://financialeducation.nfcc.org/.

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