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Fin Lit Survey: Lack Of Savings Tops Financial Concerns
WASHINGTON (4/2/13)--More than half of Americans worry about how little they have in savings, according to results of the 2013 Financial Literacy Survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA).

The survey results provide credit unions with an opportunity to build trust through financial outreach programs during April, which is Financial Literacy Month.

In its seventh year, the survey annually provides data and trending around Americans' attitudes and behaviors related to personal finance.

"While consumers moving out of recession mode and becoming more comfortable with spending is positive for the nation's economy, they need to be mindful of the fact that increasing spending without a safety net in the form of savings could have a negative impact on their personal economy," said Susan C. Keating, NFCC president/CEO.   

Respondents were asked which areas of personal finance currently worry them the most and were allowed to select multiple responses. Top areas of concern included:

  • Savings. Overall, 57% indicated they are worried over a lack of savings, including 43% who worry they do not having enough "rainy day" savings for an emergency, and 38% concerned about retiring without having enough money set aside. 
  • Financial obligations. Twenty-six percent were worried about servicing their debt commitments, including paying credit card debt (13%), repaying student loan debt (8%), making monthly vehicle payments (7%), and paying off existing medical debt (6%).
  • Health insurance. One in four U.S. adults (25%) worry about health insurance--either not being able to afford it (19%) and/or not having any (17%).
  • Credit. While 19% were worried about their credit score and/or lack of access of credit overall, 16% were anxious about their score, with 9% concerned over their lack of credit access.
  • Job loss. About 18% indicated fear of job loss as a major concern.
  • Foreclosure. Four percent of Americans are worried over losing their homes to foreclosure. The small percentage is a positive signal for the housing industry and the economy as a whole, said NFCC.
The good news is that 20% of U.S. adults indicated they do not have any financial worries, a strong sign of consumer confidence, NFCC said.
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