Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) Releases Results from the NFCC Financial Literacy Survey

As Financial Literacy Month begins, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Springfield today released the results of the NFCC 2013 Financial Literacy Survey. In its seventh year, the survey annually provides data and trending around Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to personal finance.

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CCCS of Springfield

The survey demonstrates mixed results. On one hand people are spending more than last year yet 57 percent admitted that insufficient savings is their top financial concern.

Springfield, MO (PRWEB) April 10, 2013

“The survey demonstrates mixed results. On one hand people are spending more than last year yet 57 percent admitted that insufficient savings is their top financial concern,” said Joe Stokes, CEO of CCCS of Springfield. This survey reveals that while consumers are moving out of recession mode and becoming more comfortable with spending, there is also a desire to save more.

Regarding consumer responses around financial concerns, respondents were asked which areas of personal finance currently worry them the most, and were allowed to select multiple responses, with results as follows:

1.    Not enough savings – Overall, 57 percent of Americans indicated they are worried over a lack of savings, including forty-three percent who are concerned about not having enough “rainy day” savings for an emergency, and 38 percent concerned about retiring without having enough money set aside. Although fairly evenly divided, the data suggest that having enough money to resolve daily emergencies takes precedence over the longer term retirement planning.

2.    Not being able to pay financial obligations – A total of twenty-six percent of U.S. adults, or roughly 61 million people , were worried about servicing their debt commitments, including concerns around paying credit card debt (13%), repaying student loan debt (8%), an inability to make monthly vehicle payments (7%), and not being able to pay off existing medical debt (6%).

3.    Health insurance – One in four U.S. adults (25%) are worried about health insurance – either not being able to afford it (19%) and/or not having any (17%).

4.    Credit – While 19 percent were worried about their credit score and/or lack of access of credit overall, 16 percent were anxious about their score, with nine percent concerned over their lack of access to credit, suggesting that consumers continue to realize the importance of credit in their lives. However, most adults have neglected to review their credit report (65%) or score (60%) in the past year.

5.    Job loss – Eighteen percent, or more than 42 million Americans , indicated fear of job loss as a major concern, a number that is disturbingly high.

6.    Foreclosure – As the least of consumers’ concerns (among those listed), a comparatively small four percent of Americans are worried over losing their home to foreclosure, undoubtedly a positive signal for the housing industry and the economy as a whole.

The good news is that 20 percent of U.S. adults indicated they do not have any financial worries, a strong sign of consumer confidence.

Remaining stubbornly consistent over the past three years, 40 percent of U.S. adults gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, thus it is not surprising that nearly four in five (78%) agree that they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.

There is ample opportunity for consumers to improve their level of financial literacy and take steps to resolve their financial problems. Although the plurality of U.S. adults indicated that, if they were having financial problems related to debt, they would first turn to their friends and family for assistance (28%), a similar number (27%) also said they would reach out to a professional nonprofit credit counseling agency for help, demonstrating a high level of confidence in the value of credit counseling.

About the Survey
The 2013 Financial Literacy survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) and the NBPCA (the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association) via its QuickQuery omnibus between March 4 and March 6, 2013 among 2,037 adults ages 18+, of whom, 91 use prepaid debit cards for everyday transactions [small base (n<100) – results should be interpreted as qualitative, or directional, in nature]. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Prior to this year, this survey was conducted by telephone. The full survey will be available Tuesday, April 1 in the Newsroom on the NFCC website http://www.NFCC.org, and on the NBPCA website at http://nbpca.org/en/Research-and-Publications.aspx.

About CCCS of Springfield
Consumer Credit Counseling of Springfield (CCCS), founded in 1969, is the only locally operated credit counseling agency in the state of Missouri. CCCS’ mission is “to develop, provide, and implement financial solutions and credit education that results in self-sufficient individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities”. CCCS has helped thousands safely repay their unsecured debt and remain in their homes.

For free and affordable confidential advice, call (417) 889-7474, or visit http://www.cccsoftheozarks.org.

(1) Calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census, which estimates there are 234.6 million adults ages 18+ residing in the United States: 234.6M x 0.26 = 60.996M.
(2) Calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census, which estimates there are 234.6 million adults ages 18+ residing in the United States: 234.6M x 0.18 = 42.228M.

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National Foundation for Credit Counseling