American Consumers Say they Need Help on Household Budgeting

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Daily and monthly budgeting top list of money management topics on which consumers want increased financial education and resources. Understanding credit and credit scores also key, according to new survey.

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What we’re seeing here is an increased interest and understanding of the importance of financial education, especially in the areas that consumers face the most challenges, credit and budgeting.

According to a recent survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling American consumers could use some support when it comes to sticking to a household budget. Conducted during Financial Literacy Month, the survey found 25 percent of respondents reported an increased need for further education in the areas of daily and monthly budgets, while 20 percent expressed a need for information on understanding credit and credit scores.

In a recent ACCC web poll at, just 8 percent reported an increased need for education on how to save for retirement or college, while only 14 percent were interested in learning more about saving in general.

These results follow a recent report by the credit bureau Equifax indicating an 11 percent decline in total consumer debt from a peak of $12.4 trillion in October 2008 to $10.9 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

“What we’re seeing here is an increased interest and understanding of the importance of financial education, especially in the areas that consumers face the most challenges, credit and budgeting,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, Mass. “Despite the recent numbers showing a decline in consumer debt, consumers need to continue to arm themselves with financial education and resources. As someone who has been in this industry for more than 20 years I can confirm that the single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is education.”

When it comes to actual big-ticket spending, the survey found, Americans feel they need little guidance. Only 3 percent of all those polled by ACCC said they need further education on how to make large purchases, while only 16 percent indicated an increased need for education on setting short and long term goals.

“Budgeting and spending go hand in hand,” Trumble said. “So while consumers may feel comfortable in the decisions they make on large purchases, those decisions are certain to have an impact on their overall financial health.”

The financial education poll was the latest in a series of ACCC web surveys for 2012 that focus on a variety of financial education, budgeting and planning topics. American Consumer Credit Counseling’s certified and experienced counselors offer a variety of financial education, counseling and debt management services to help consumers achieve long-term financial health and stability.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

         • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
         • For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
         • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
         • For more information on financial education workshops in New England, call 800-769-3571 x708
         • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial health through education, counseling, and debt management. ACCC provides individuals with practical solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC works with consumers to help them with the best plan of action to reduce their debt and regain financial stability. ACCC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. It is also a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources log on to or visit

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