Debt Counseling
Budgeting, Debt

Baby Boomers, Debt Counseling, and Retirement

When Baby Boomers Budget

If you are a baby boomer in your 50 or 60s, you are likely wondering if you will ever experience retirement bliss. A growing number of boomers have massive credit card debt in addition to mortgage and student loan debt due. In some cases, boomers take out mortgage and student loan debt to help children and grandchildren. With debt counseling, you can find out how to balance your desire for a debt free life and continue to show your generous spirit by helping loved ones.

According to a recent article by pressherald.com, financial advisers recommend baby boomers concentrate on their credit card debt before retiring. Retirees live on a fixed income, whether the money comes from Social Security benefits, dividends from investments, Roth IRA or employer-sponsored retirement accounts and pensions. If you have lived with credit card debt your entire working life, consider following a debt management plan so you can live free of credit card debt in retirement.

Budgeting for Household Expenses

Before you pay off your mortgage or pay it down, talk to a certified credit counselor. You could be better off devoting your money to a debt repayment plan. When you consolidate credit card debt, you often pay a lower interest rate. Still, mortgage rates have been extremely low in recent years. You will most likely come out ahead by allocating money for credit card debt before paying down a mortgage. With debt counseling, you learn to budget for housing whether you own or rent.

According to research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the median senior citizen mortgage debt is up by 82 percent. If you are an average baby boomer, you could owe as much as $79,000 in mortgage debt. After you get out of credit card debt, you can think about strategies for paying off a mortgage early.

Clearing away the Debt

Experts say members of the Greatest Generation were much less likely to retire with debt. When it comes to credit card debt, set a goal to be debt free by the time you claim your Social Security benefits. If you can finish a Debt Management Plan by age 62, treat yourself to an early retirement.

When you have credit card debt, it is difficult to pay for variable expenses in retirement such as travel, vacations and gifts. A credit counselor will help you figure out how long it will take to be completely debt free so you can tweak your retirement age. Don’t be afraid to delay retirement if it means entering your golden years with more gold in your pockets and less debt.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we specialize in credit card debt. You can pay off your debt 80 percent faster with our approach to debt management. Our team helps you lower your interest rate and enjoy the benefits of debt consolidation through one easy monthly payment.

Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

    Full Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

    Type the code below in the text box. (required)
    captcha


    CCCc2abutton

    ​Read More
    Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Consumer, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Finance, Money Management, Personal Goals

    Budget Boss

    Budget Boss: Command Your Finances by Creating and Monitoring a Budget

    Looking for a way to improve your financial situation and set yourself up for financial success in the future? Christian Credit Counselors, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) with a mission to provide free financial education to individuals and families both locally and nationwide, is now offering a free, online webinar entitled Budget Boss: Command Your Finances by Creating and Monitoring a Budget. Christian Credit Counselors is committed not just to helping people get out of debt, but providing them with free resources and education to STAY out of debt and live a life of financial freedom.

    The Budget Boss webinar will teach you the importance and benefits of a budget. It will walk you through the steps of the budgeting process including setting goals, evaluating assets and expenses, creating a budget, and monitoring a budget. In addition, it will show you how to use a budget to create wealth by decreasing spending and increasing income. Finally, it will give you suggestions on how to avoid common roadblocks as well as helpful budgeting resources. Whether you feel like you are drowning in debt and don’t know where to start in finding a solution or you simply want to set up a budget to save for your first car out of college, this webinar will serve as a great tool in creating and monitoring a budget so you have the knowledge and skills to make the best financial decisions for your future.

    Click on the video below to view the webinar.

    Click here to download the free handout:

    When you are done with the webinar video you can also take a quick survey by clicking the button below:

    If you have questions or would like more information, email education@christiancreditcounselors.org or call 1-800-557-1985 ext. 131.

    Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

      Full Name (required)

      Email (required)

      Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

      Type the code below in the text box. (required)
      captcha


      credit card debt

      ​Read More
      Budgeting, Economy, Uncategorized

      Are Tax Return Advances a Good Thing

      Unfortunately, this year tax returns may be delayed due to budget cuts and overloaded workers who won’t be able to process refunds as quickly as they have in previous years. According to the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, some refund checks could be delayed a week or more especially for those who filed paper versus those who filed electronically.

      This may drive people to look for private alternatives like refund anticipation checks through their tax preparation company. Before jumping onto this train it’s important to know the facts so you can make an informed financial decision. Instant cash comes with a hefty price.

      This year H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, and many more tax preparation services are offering an advance on your tax refund. What your grandparents used to say is true, nothing in life is free, and you could be spending more than 20% of your refund to receive your cash early.

      If you are still considering these services, we urge you to ask the following questions and obtain the facts in writing:

      • What is the interest rate?
      • What fees are you being charged?
      • What happens if your tax refund is less than what you thought it would be?
      • Are you paying a higher tax preparation rate because you are having them take it out of your refund?
      • What are the bank and processing fees?

      The best thing you can do is find a way to live within your means and wait for your refund to be mailed or electronically deposited into your bank account from the IRS. Here are some ways to help keep your refund wait time to a minimum.

      Electronic Filing

      Forget the paper return that has to be sent via the U.S. postal service and file electronically from your computer. When you do this you will receive your money almost as fast as you would with a refund anticipation loan, without the fees. Those filing paper returns can expect to wait up to eight weeks for their tax refund whereas those who file electronically will receive their checks in half time.

      Direct Deposit Deposit

      This year the IRS has projected that they will issue 9 out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days of filing. For 2015, the fastest way to receive your refund is to file electronically and choose direct deposit. If you do choose to file your return using good old-fashioned paper you will still save time if you have your refund deposited directly into your bank account.

      Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are informed. Be sure to check out the 2015 tax refund schedule below.

       

      2015 Tax Refund Schedule:

      IRS Return Processed Direct Deposit Sent Before Paper Check Mailed
      Jan. 21-Jan. 27 Feb. 3 Feb. 4
      Jan. 28-Feb. 3 Feb. 10 Feb. 11
      Feb. 4-Feb. 10 Feb. 17 Feb. 18
      Feb. 11-Feb. 17 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
      Feb. 18-Feb. 24 March 3 March 4
      Feb. 25-March 3 March 10 March 11
      March 4-March 10 March 17 March 18
      March 11-March 17 March 24 March 25
      March 18-March 24 March 31 April 1
      March 25-March 31 April 7 April 8
      April 1-April 7 April 15 April 16
      April 8-April 15 April 22 April 23
      April 16-April 22 April 30 May 1

      Source: IRS, author estimates.

      Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

        Full Name (required)

        Email (required)

        Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

        Type the code below in the text box. (required)
        captcha


        ​Read More
        Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Money Management, Saving

        Payday Loans: Borrower Beware

        Considering Payday Loans

        Strapped for cash? Thinking of getting a payday loan? Think again! Payday-Loan

        It may be tempting to get a payday advance to hold you over for a week or two until your next paycheck. What could be the harm? The industry claims they’re providing needed credit to consumers who aren’t able to qualify for conventional loans. The industry claims they are helping those hurting for cash. However, many financially wise see these businesses as predatory. They could even be comparable to old-fashioned usury, luring the borrower further down debts beaten path – dead ending at a financial crisis.

        Understanding Payday Loans

        Payday lending, or cash advance, is a practice of using a post-dated check or electronic account information as collateral for a short-term loan. Borrowers simply need identification, a bank account and income from a job or benefits, such as Social Security or disability.

        Loans aren’t dependent upon the borrower’s credit history. By design, this loan process keeps borrowers in debt. No matter the claim, these businesses are not there to help people out of a bad financial situation. Generally, these lenders don’t accept partial payments. When you can’t pay it off on time and in full, you have to renew the loan.The interest and fees add up quick and become shackles, keeping you in the cycle of debt. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 90% of payday loans go to repeat borrowers—five or more loans per year. They’ve also reported that these lenders receive $4.2 billion in fees from Americans each year.

        The Ins and Outs of Payday Loans

        Let’s say you need a $400 loan and plan to pay it back with your next paycheck. You are required to give a post-dated check for $460 and receive in return the $400 cash. The lender agrees to hold the check until your next payday. Then, when the loan is due, the borrower has the option to redeem the check by paying $460 in cash, or renew the loan, known as flipping. Flipping involves paying off the $460 by taking out a new $400 loan, or allowing the lender to cash the original check. The finance fee of the initial loan is, in this case, $60, or 390% APR! If the borrower decides to renew the loan three times, which is what most do, the finance charge will end up being $240 – just to borrow $400!!

        You can see from this example why this practice is very dangerous and controversial. Critics argue that the lenders are exploiting those who are already desperate because of their current financial crisis. Borrowers get trapped in a cycle of debt. Payday lenders depend on this, and they love the repeat borrower. Because of the controversy, fifteen states have made payday lending illegal.

        Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

          Full Name (required)

          Email (required)

          Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

          Type the code below in the text box. (required)
          captcha


           

          ​Read More
          Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Money Management, Saving

          Debt Collectors: Know Your Rights Against Wrong Practices

          Doomsday Debt Collectors debt1

          Debt collectors may be within their right to pursue repayment, but you should know how to protect yourself against doomsday debt collectors and their extreme tactics.

          Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

          First, you should be aware that there are laws in place that govern the practice of debt collection. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was written for your protection and is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, our national consumer protection agency. This Act covers a variety of debts, including personal and household, but not business debt. Examples of covered debts are: home, auto, medical, and credit card debt.

          The Facts about Debt Collectors

          • May not use abusive or deceptive tactics
          • Must send the debtor a validation notice within 5 days of initiating contact
          • Written validation notice must include: amount owed, the creditor to whom money is owed, and what to do if the debtor says they don’t owe
          • Must contact during reasonable hours (Ex. not earlier than 8 a.m. or later than 9 p.m.)
          • May not attempt contact at a person’s work (with a written or oral statement)
          • May contact third parties for a person’s contact info (often limited to one time)
          • Must contact your attorney, if you are being legally represented
          • May not discuss the details of the debt with those outside of the debtor, debtor’s spouse or representing attorney
          • Must stop contacting the debtor upon receipt of a written notice by debtor indicating the debt is not owed or seeking proof (within 30 days from date of validation notice)
          • May continue to contact the debtor once proof of debt has been provided

          Putting a stop to Debt Collection

          Your first conversation with a collector should be an attempt at resolution. Determine whether you owe the debt. Depending on the outcome of that initial conversation, decide how you will proceed. If you want to stop a collector from contacting you, provide it in writing. Be sure to make a copy of everything you send and mail the document by certified mail with a return receipt. From that point, the debt collector may tell you that there will be no further contact, or they may indicate their next step. If a creditor still wants to collect from you at this point, they may pursue legal action by filing a lawsuit.

          In the event that you are sued by a debt collector, respond or have your lawyer respond by the date indicated in the lawsuit to stay within your rights.

          Reporting Debt Collection Misconduct

          Notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of a debt collector who doesn’t operate within the bounds of the law. Additionally, inform your state Attorney General’s Office, and inquire about the state laws that differ from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, as well as, your rights.

          Christian Credit Counselors is a non-profit organization that was created to help individuals and families regain control of their finances through the use of educational tools, credit counseling and other resources. For more resources, visit www.christiancreditcounselors.org.

          Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

            Full Name (required)

            Email (required)

            Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

            Type the code below in the text box. (required)
            captcha


             

            ​Read More
            Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Debt Settlement, Finance, Goals, Money Management, Personal Goals, Saving

            Credit – The Four Most Common Forms

            What is credit? art-credit-cards-620x349

            Credit is defined in a couple of ways. One is the amount of money you are approved to borrow from a lending institution. With this approval comes an agreement to repay the charges, any additional fees that can or will be applied, and to abide by time restrictions.

            Credit can also be classified as your borrowing reputation. It paints a picture of your payment history and provides the lender with information regarding the likelihood of your repayment, in other words, your risk factor.

            Use of Credit

            When used responsibly, credit can be a convenient and effective financial tool. From a simple credit card to an auto or home loan, credit is the American way of life. Cashless transactions are soon becoming the way of the future, and credit cards are among the most prevalent. Understanding credit is important in order to use credit to your advantage and to prevent the common financial pitfall – debt.

            Four Common Forms of Credit

            Revolving Credit

            This form of credit allows you to borrow money up to a certain amount. The lending institution sets a credit limit, or the most you can borrow. In revolving credit, the borrower revolves the balance by rolling from month to month until it is paid in full. Interest charges typically occur for any revolving balance. As the money is paid back, the difference between the maximum credit limit and the current balance is available to be borrowed. This is the most common form of credit issued by credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and store and gas cards. Credit cards are considered unsecure credit because there is no collateral securing the amount borrowed.

            Charge Cards

            This form of credit is often mistaken to be the same as a revolving credit card. However, the major difference between a credit card and a charge card is the credit card can carry a balance, whereas the charge card must be paid in full each month. If the balance is not paid on time and in full, penalty fees will be added. American Express is an example of a well-known charge card. This form of credit is advantageous against accumulating credit card debt.

            Installment Credit

            Installment credit involves a set amount borrowed, a set monthly payment and a set timeframe of repayment. Interest charges are pre-determined and calculated into the set monthly payments. Common forms of installment credit agreements are home mortgages and auto loans.

            Installment credit is also typically secure. Secure credit requires security for the lender. The borrower must provide collateral, something of value pledge in order to guarantee loan repayment. If the borrower fails to repay, or defaults on the loan, the lender may confiscate the collateral. A home is an example of collateral on a mortgage, and a vehicle on an auto loan. If the borrower were to default, the home or vehicle would be repossessed.

            Non-Installment or Service Credit

            This form of credit allows the borrower to pay for a service, membership, etc. at a later date. Generally, payment is due the month following the service, and unpaid balances will incur a fee, interest, and/or penalty charges. Continued non-payment will result in service cancellation and can be reported to the credit bureau, affecting your credit score. Service or non-installment agreements are very common in our everyday life. Cell phone, gas and electricity, water and garbage are all examples of service credit.

            Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

              Full Name (required)

              Email (required)

              Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

              Type the code below in the text box. (required)
              captcha


               

              ​Read More
              Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit Counseling, Debt, Finance, Goals, Money Management, Personal Goals

              Your Financial Future

              Your Financial Future

              Are you worried about where you stand financially or wonder about your financial future? Credit counseling can give you peace of mind.

              We all know that debt is a slippery slope for consumers. Knowing where you stand is the first step to walking forward in financial success. While internet research can provide a wealth of information about finances, credit counseling services take an individualized approach and paint a picture of where you are and where you’re headed. More than that, they will lay out the steps to get you there!

              Credit Counseling Service Benefits

              Credit counseling services offer experienced credit counselors who work with you to evaluate where you stand, where you’re going, and what to expect along the way. By carefully examining your monthly money trail, you’ll be able to put together a practical budget catered to your lifestyle. Not only will consumer credit counseling benefit you now, you’ll learn tips to help you succeed financially throughout your life!

              Your Debt Problems

              If you’ve already slipped into debt, you may feel absolutely helpless. Not knowing where to turn only adds to the problem. Well, now you have a solution! Credit counselors are an excellent source of advice and will guide you to available resources for situations just like yours.

              Debt management services help you get out of debt. And, being debt free will change your life! Watch your credit score increase and the collection calls cease. Save money on credit card interest and avoid the credit damaging option of bankruptcy.

              Step One to Financial Freedom

              This small first step leads to BIG changes – so start by enrolling in a debt management program! You’ll be learning and growing in a safe, accepting and helpful environment. Debt management counselors work hard to see you get back on the right financial track!

              So whether you’re interested in better financial management or you’d like to end the collection calls once and for all, take the first step to a more secure financial future – contact a credit counseling service today!

              Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

                Full Name (required)

                Email (required)

                Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                captcha


                 

                ​Read More
                Budgeting, Kids & Money, Loans, Saving, Student Loans

                Student Loans: A Necessary Evil?

                Student Loans and Debt

                More than ever before, a college degree has become a necessity.  But many parents and students wonder how they are going to pay for college.  With a high number of students graduating college with student loans, the average debt will likely hit a record $28,700, projected by Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Finaid.org.  It is important to have the necessary information on student loans before signing on the dotted line.

                Government and Private Student Loans

                There are two types of student loans – government and private.  Government student loans have flexibility with programs to help students pay back the loan because they can change the rules whenever.  This can work towards the advantage of the borrower but can also hurt the borrower.  If the student will take out multiple loans, a government loan is better because it provides continuity.

                Private loans are provided by traditional banks and they do not have as many programs to help students repay their loans.  These loans come with a low interest rate but can hurt the borrower because it accumulates over time.  Also, most of these loans include a clause that does not allow the signer to file for bankruptcy.  After graduation, you get a six-month grace period during which you don’t have to pay back your loans giving you time to find a job.

                Financial Respoinsibility

                If you decide you need a student loan, you must decide who will be signing for it.  There are two options, the student, who must be at least eighteen years old, or a (step) parent.  If a step parent or parent decides to sign he or she is now responsible for the full payment of this loan.

                For example, if a step parent signs and afterwards gets a divorce, the step parent is still held responsible for the full payment.  Also, if a student signs for a three year loan for $30,000 but he or she drops out of school after the first semester he or she must still pay the full amount of the loan.  The result is parent and child is equally stuck.

                Budgeting for the Loan

                Ideally, the student should work while going to school and open a savings account.  This way the student will have a cushion for after graduation.  This cushion should include living money and money to make loan payments.  Proper budgeting and planning when a student begins school will be more beneficial than starting to plan after graduation.

                However, if there was no proper budgeting or planning there are ways you can receive help.  Keep in communication with the lender, there are consolidation programs and government programs that can help.  Consolidation programs are for students who took out multiple student loans throughout their school career.  For example, John has four $100 monthly payments to different banks.

                Loans and Credit Consolidation

                With consolidation, his overall payments will be lowered and he will have the benefit of simplicity which will help him track the progress of his student loans.  With government loans, a student can work for a nonprofit organization or public agency for ten years which will reduce the amount owed on the account.  Also, if you are willing to commit a year volunteering for AmeriCorps, you get $4,725 to pay off your college debts, and a stipend up to $7,400.  For more information visit their website.

                In addition you can work for 27 months with the Peace Corps.  If you travel with the Peace Corps, you will get to defer most of your student loans until after you leave the program, and may get some of your loans reduced by as much as 70%. Visit their website for more details.  If you decide one of these programs is beneficial to you, make sure you have it approved before hand, know the rules, and always get it in writing.

                Other options for repayment include: pay in full, standard payment, graduated payment, income-based payment, and long-term payment.  In the majority of cases paying in full is never an option.  Standard payments are monthly payments with interest over a period of 10 years.  It gives you a great interest rate but high monthly payments.  For graduated payments, the payments will start low but increase every couple years for a 10-30 year period.  With income-based payment, your monthly payments are decided proportionate to your income and you get 15 years to pay it off.  The long-term payment method is a monthly payment plus interest for 30 years.

                Regardless of whether you decide student loans are for you or not, you now have the knowledge to make the right decision.

                Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

                  Full Name (required)

                  Email (required)

                  Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                  Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                  captcha


                   

                  ​Read More
                  Budgeting, Money Management

                  Money Saving – Top Ten Tips

                  Setting a Spending Plan

                  At the beginning of each year, many Americans include “get out of debt” on their list of New Year’s resolutions and then seem to live under the illusion that they will be able to wish this into reality since a spending plan is never created or written down. The most important part of taking control of your finances is starting somewhere and starting now.

                  The only way you will get out of debt is if you stop unneeded spending and start allocating the money you are saving toward your debts.

                  Money Saving Tips

                    1. Stop eating out –  Even if you only eat out once a week, if you spend $25 each time you eat out, you’d be saving $100 per month—so there you go, that’s already $100 you are saving.
                    2. Stop spending at Starbucks –  Let’s low ball this and say you spend $3 each weekday on coffee, meaning you spend $60 per month. Now you’re at $160 saved.
                    3. Use coupons wherever you go – Coupons.com has a plethora of coupons that you can print out. No one wants to be dubbed coupon-crazed, but one or two dollars here and there will definitely add up. Just make sure you aren’t buying something just because you have a coupon for it (and you don’t need it).
                    4. Cut out luxuries – If you’re serious about getting out of debt, you can find alternatives to these luxuries.
                      • Ladies— getting your hair done; either go natural or do it yourself. Color out of a box will save you at the very least $50. This also goes for getting your nails done.
                      • This one is for guys and girls—cancel your gym membership and go hiking instead. You’ll save $20-$30 per month and you’ll get some fresh air in the meantime.
                      • If you can think of some other luxuries you can live without, like massages or having a monthly cleaner for your house, you’ll notice that you’ll save at least $100 on those alone.
                      • Now for something a little harder to cope with for some—cable. Cancel cable and watch shows for free online at hulu.com. Most shows are available online and you can watch them at anytime. This will save you at least $30 per month.
                    5. Downsize your living space. You won’t have to stay in this situation forever, but this could be an easy way to save a few hundred dollars a month.
                    6. Downsize your car. Sell your car and buy a less expensive car if you would be able to make a significant amount on the sale. If your family has two cars, try downsizing to one and sell the other. It may not be very convenient, but if you are serious about getting out of debt as soon as possible, these are some options that could help you right now
                    7. Sell some of your items on Amazon or eBay.
                    8. Work overtime or ask for a raise (only if you deserve it). This also means it’s important to make yourself an asset at your company–do your job.
                    9. Take side-jobs if you can. Learn a new skill or use a skill you already have to make some extra cash outside of your current job.
                    10. Rent out an extra room in your house if you have one. Advertise this availability amongst your friends and family and post it at church. You’ll need to choose a renter wisely since they will be living under your roof.

                  Have more tips to add? Share them in the comments below!

                  Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

                    Full Name (required)

                    Email (required)

                    Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                    Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                    captcha


                     

                    ​Read More
                    Budgeting, Credit Counseling

                    Financial Planning – The Importance of an Emergency Fund

                    A National Foundation for Credit Counseling Poll

                    A recent online poll released by the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling) revealed that a majority of American consumers don’t have enough savings to cover a $1000 emergency expense. Only 36 percent of respondents said that they would have enough to cover a $1000 unplanned expense, the remaining 64 percent of those polled

                    stated that they would have to rely on other resources.

                    Here are the results from that poll:

                    • 36% of consumers had enough to in their savings account to cover their expenses.
                    • 9% of those polled would have to take out a loan.
                    • 17% of American consumers would have to borrow from friends of family.
                    • 9% responded that they would take out a cash advance on their credit card.
                    • 17% of those polled would have to disregard other financial obligations.
                    • 12% of those polled would have to sell or pawn their assets to cover an unplanned emergency expense.

                    The American Consumer

                    The report uncovers some alarming data on the current state of the American consumer and even though the poll doesn’t go into details of reasons why two-thirds of Americans don’t have a safety net, it’s very apparent that many individuals are still living check-to-check. There could be several factors that weigh into these statistics, for example many of those polled could be college-aged or in their early twenties. Another reason could be that many of those polled could be unemployed or severely underemployed.

                    The most disturbing statistic revealed from the poll was that 17% of consumers would disregard other financial obligations in order to cover an emergency expense. This option could have huge consequences and could leave a consumer even deeper in debt, but financial planning can alleviate this. Missing a mortgage payment, skipping out on the rent or disregarding credit card payments will not only put an individual back financially it will have a negative impact on one’s credit rating.

                    “Without adequate savings, consumers have poor resolution choices when an emergency arises,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “People often say they can’t afford to save, but the truth is that they can’t afford not to.”

                    Setting a Monthly Budget

                    Regardless of why 64% of Americans don’t have an emergency expense, it’s clear that many consumers have not set up a monthly budget.

                    “Selecting any option other than taking the money from savings should be a red flag,” continued Cunningham. “If saving money has always seemed out of reach, there is no better time than now to get to the root of the problem and protect yourself, your family and your financial future.”

                    Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

                      Full Name (required)

                      Email (required)

                      Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                      Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                      captcha


                       

                      ​Read More