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NFCC Blog: Staying the Course

The Last Word on Financial Literacy Month: National Survey Reveals Small Gains in Savings but More Americans Carrying Credit Card Balances

By Bruce McClary The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and BECU, the nation’s fourth largest not-for-profit credit union, have released the results of the 2016 Financial Literacy Survey. Conducted online in March and April 2016 on their behalf by Harris Poll, the survey includes responses from more than 1,600 U.S. adults ages 18 and over. In its tenth year, the report provides a fresh look at the American consumer’s …Read More

Researchers from The Ohio State University reveal the impact of credit counseling.

Since its launch in 2013, the Sharpen Your Financial Focus (Sharpen) initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has impacted the lives of more than 60,000 American consumers, helping them identify and resolve immediate financial concerns, gain a deeper understanding of financial literacy and debt management, and move toward long-term financial stability. To measure the extent of its impact, an independent, scientifically based evaluation was conducted by researchers at …Read More

Study: Why Millennials Are Waiting to Buy a Home — for Now

By Deborah Kearns of NerdWallet They’re graduating from college, starting new jobs, getting married and having kids. But one life goal that’s eluding a lot of millennials is homeownership, according to a new NerdWallet white paper. It’s not that millennials don’t want to own a home. In fact, NerdWallet, a personal finance website, found that most millennials would like to buy a home but think they can’t afford it. In its analysis, …Read More

Libraries and NFCC members work together to help those who serve our country

By Bruce McClary Members of the U.S. armed forces, Coast Guard, veterans, and their families face financial challenges often not adequately addressed by resources designed for the general public. Recent preliminary data from the Sharpen Your Financial Focus® (Sharpen) program reveals military families face unique challenges. For example, military Sharpen participants had higher unsecured debt balances ($400-$500 more) than the average Sharpen participant. Fewer tangible assets and higher debt-related expenses …Read More

Where Can You Afford to Live Based on Your Occupation?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow Finding careers that are both financially profitable and emotionally gratifying can be difficult. Some people choose to undergo years of higher education to land high-paying careers early on and ensure substantial financially success later in life – yet their efforts may not necessarily be based on personal passions. Others might choose median-income level professions they are avid about, making work feel more like a hobby …Read More

Winning the Mini-Powerball (a.k.a. Getting a tax refund)

By Mark Foster Did you know that last year the average tax refund was $3,034? Oftentimes when people get a large tax refund, it’s treated like a little lottery winning. We have seen people get a large refund of $3,000, $4,000 or more but spend it all within a few months and not improve their financial situation much, if at all. It’s okay to have some fun with your money – …Read More

Where Can Millennials Afford to Buy Homes?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow With rent prices across the nation higher than ever, millennials are dipping into their savings and taking the plunge into real estate investing, maybe a little sooner than they had expected for themselves. But why not now? Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and homeownership has its perks – like customizable interior upgrades and one of the largest return-on-investment opportunities one can make in …Read More

Some gifts come with a hefty price tag for their new owners

By Bruce McClary Consumers are expected to spend over $630 billion on holiday shopping this season, in the malls and online. Once the gifts are unwrapped and put to use by their new owners, some of the recipients may be in for serious sticker shock when the cost of maintaining their new possessions begins to add up. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has identified some popular gifts that are …Read More

Planning That Affordable Holiday Trip

By Nat Sillin Some people are planners and others are improvisers. Happily, both types can score real travel bargains during the winter holidays. Saving on travel means striking the right balance between affordability and preference. For example, families with children and a need for specific seating and direct flights may need to plan earlier to secure such reservations. Travelers with more scheduling flexibility can roll the dice on last-minute deals. According …Read More