Millions of consumers across the country are still dealing with large constraints such as significant amounts of credit card debt, but more now recognize some of their biggest problem areas when it comes to managing their money and financial lives correctly.
More than half of consumers – 56 percent – say that they believe their biggest financial problem area, and the one in which they could use the most help, is knowing what it takes to improve their credit score, according to a report poll from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Problematically however, while many recognize that their credit scores can play a significant role in all aspects of their personal financial life, they don't do enough on their own to make sure they're in good standing. Most respondents said they hadn't checked their credit report at any point in the last 12 months, but only 5 percent said they thought they needed help understanding the information contained in thedocument.
This type of disconnect indicates that consumers simply might not know that the information on their credit report is what's used to comprise their score, NFCC spokesperson Gail Cunningham said. That's why experts usually advise that it takes ordering a credit report to understand what's wrong with a credit score.
But consumers weren't only concerned about their credit standing, the report said. Another 23 percent of those polled said they think their biggest problem area is that they need to get their spending under control, and another 11 percent said they would like to have a better grasp on how to put more money into savings. Experts say that these two types of behavior combined can lead to serious financial problems because stretching budgets thin with overspending, and having nothing to fall back on in the event of an emergency, can lead to massive balances that can be difficult to get under control again.
Consumers who run into large amounts of credit card balances and other bills often find themselves in need of debt relief. Since the end of the recent recession, however, many consumers have been conscientious in their efforts to pay down their debt and make sure they don't carry a balance from one month to the next.