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Overwhelming Majority of Americans
Say Personal Finances Need Major Overhaul

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

By Gail Cunningham

According to the April poll hosted on the NFCC website, when asked to describe the state of their personal financial situation, 80% 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 80% of adults indicated they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional. 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.


  1. There are arguments in my home about money.


  1. I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.


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


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


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


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


  1. Collectors have begun contacting me.


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


  1. 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 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

  1. Are putting along just fine = 4%
  2. Could use a tune-up = 13%
  3. Are in need of a major overhaul = 80%
  4. Have never been better = 3%

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

Gail Cunningham is Vice President of Membership & Public Relations with the NFCC.

Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.

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