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Consumers Focused on Paying Down Debt in 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:00 AM

With the holidays now behind us, it seems consumers are now focused on paying down debt. A survey finds that the majority of the survey participants, 68 percent, responded that it is extremely likely that they will start to reduce their debt balance in 2014. And, slightly more than 40 percent of the participants said the same about paying all of their credit card debt this year.

More than half of the 55 percent of survey participants with at least some credit card debt reported it is extremely important to have a payment plan in place this year. Twenty-one percent said a payment plan is somewhat important while 9 percent said it is moderately important.

Credit card debt balances for the survey participants ranged from $1,000 or less to more than $20,000. Ninety-percent of participants with the lowest balances said it is extremely or somewhat likely that they will be able to pay their bills this year. Also, 40 percent of those with balances between $5,001 and $10,000 had the same response.

Assistance with credit card debt management did not rank high on consumers’ priority list, according to the survey. Ninety-two percent of participants with credit card debt said they have not seriously considered accessing professional help from a credit counseling agency or bankruptcy attorney. Credit card debt consolidation is an option considered by nearly 15 percent of consumers included in the survey.

However, 71 percent of consumers with credit card debt of between $50,000 and $75,000 have seriously considered filing for bankruptcy.