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U.S. Consumers Concerned about Lack of Savings
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:00 AM

U.S. consumers are concerned about a lack of savings, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA).  The survey, which provides data and trending around Americans’ attitudes and behaviors related to personal finance, found that 57 percent of Americans indicated they are worried over a lack of savings.

The survey also found that 43 percent are concerned about not having enough “rainy day” savings for an emergency, and 38 percent are concerned about retiring without having enough money set aside.

Although fairly evenly divided, the data suggest that having enough money to resolve daily emergencies takes precedence over the longer term retirement planning.

Other areas of concerns are:

  1. Not being able to pay financial obligations – A total of 26 percent of U.S. adults, or roughly 61 million people were worried about servicing their debt commitments, including concerns around paying credit card debt (13 percent), repaying student loan debt (8 percent), an inability to make monthly vehicle payments (7 percent), and not being able to pay off existing medical debt (6 percent).
  2. Health insurance – One in four U.S. adults (25 percent) are worried about health insurance – either not being able to afford it (19 percent) and/or not having any (17 percent).
  3. Credit – While 19 percent were worried about their credit score and/or lack of access of credit overall, 16 percent were anxious about their score, with nine percent concerned over their lack of access to credit, suggesting that consumers continue to realize the importance of credit in their lives. However, most adults have neglected to review their credit report (65 percent) or score (60 percent) in the past year.
  4. Job loss – Eighteen percent, or more than 42 million Americans indicated fear of job loss as a major concern, a number that is disturbingly high.
  5.  Foreclosure – As the least of consumers’ concerns (among those listed), a comparatively small four percent of Americans are worried over losing their home to foreclosure, undoubtedly a positive signal for the housing industry and the economy as a whole.

The good news is that 20 percent of U.S. adults indicated they do not have any financial worries, a strong sign of consumer confidence.

Remaining stubbornly consistent over the past three years, 40 percent of U.S. adults gave themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance, thus it is not surprising that nearly four in five (78 percent) agree that they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional.