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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Survey Reveals Financial Literacy Concerns for Consumers   (Monitor: April 12, 2010)

With people across the country recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month, new survey results released by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling serve as a reminder of how important financial education outreach remains.

The survey of 1,000 consumers age 18 and above, conducted by Harris Interactive in March of 2009, showed that 41 percent of U.S. adults give themselves a grade of C, D, or F on their knowledge of personal finance. This translates to more than 92 million Americans and suggests there is considerable room for improvement for many U.S. consumers.

Also of note were the nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents that had not ordered a free copy of their credit report in the last year, translating to about 144 million Americans that are unaware of their current credit score. This number grows to three-quarters (72 percent) for Latino Americans.

Other statistics from the report include:

  • Budget: Less than half of adults (42 percent) keep close track of their spending, which shows no improvement in this area since 2007.
  • Debt & Credit Cards: Twenty-six percent, or more than 58 million adults, admit to not paying all of their bills on time.
  • Housing: Forty-two percent of adults, or more than 94 million people, currently have a home mortgage and 28 percent of these homeowners say that the terms of their mortgage somehow turned out to be different than they expected
  • Savings: One-third of adults (32 percent), or 72 million people, report that they have no savings and only 23 percent are now saving more than they did a year ago because of the current economic climate.
  • Spending: Fifty-seven percent of adults report spending less than they were a year ago.
  • Retirement: One-third of adults (33 percent), or more than 74 million people, do not put any part of their annual household income toward retirement.

The full report is available on the MCUL’s CU Statistics, Economic Data and Research page.

The MCUL is committed to providing its membership with updates on important research and statistics that are relevant to the credit union community. Visit the MCUL’s CU Statistics, Economic Data and Research Web page for data and analysis from the MCUL and other organizations.

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