NFCC® Poll Reveals Financial Stability Concerns

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Financial Counseling Experts Offer Tips to Help Clear Obstacles

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With a few initial steps, most people could be on their way toward achieving what they had initially thought to be impossible.

The December poll hosted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed that more than half of all respondents (66%) are unsure about their path toward financial stability.

“While it is encouraging to know that financial stability remains an important goal for consumers, it is deeply concerning that so many are unclear about how to reach that objective,” said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC. “With a few initial steps, most people could be on their way toward achieving what they had initially thought to be impossible.”

Being financially stable means having control over personal finances. The key to establishing that control involves being organized and keeping goals in view. As is the case with any journey, it is critical to know the starting point in order to determine how to reach the destination. The NFCC recommends a thorough review of current income and spending to establish that starting point. Tracking expenses for 30 days will offer a clear picture of where things stand, and what needs to be done.

Nearly every road has its hazards, and this is no exception. Two of the most common obstacles along the way toward financial stability are lack of savings and unmanageable debt. Savings should be a top priority, with at least 10 percent of each paycheck being set aside on a regular basis. Credit card debt should be kept below 30 percent of the available credit limit, and consumer debt payments should be kept within 20 percent of monthly income.

“The key is to shrink your debt and grow your savings,” continued McClary. “The less debt you have in your way, the more control you have over reaching your financial goals.”

A financially stable future is only possible when you take the first step. If you need help making that goal a reality, speak to a trained and certified counselor. To locate the NFCC Member Agency closest to you, dial (800) 388-2227, or go online to http://www.nfcc.org. For assistance in Spanish, call (800) 682-9832.

The actual poll question and results are as follows:

Regarding my financial stability:
A. I don't think financial stability is attainable for me = 23%
B. I'm confidently on my way toward financial stability = 8%
C. I want financial stability, but don't know how to get there = 66%
D. I’m already there = 3%

Note: The NFCC’s December Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC website (http://www.NFCC.org) from December 1–31, 2014, and was answered by 1218 individuals.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit financial 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 millions of consumers through more than 600 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, on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nfccdebtadvice/ and our blog: http://financialeducation.nfcc.org/.

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