Results of the 2014 NFCC Financial Literacy Survey

Each year, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling conducts a financial literacy survey.

This year’s survey showed that consumers have knowledge gaps when it comes to basic personal finance skills.

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and over, gave an outline of consumer’s level of financial literacy, as well behaviors and attitudes associated with personal finance. Significant gaps include budgeting, saving, and understanding credit reports and credit scores.

Some of the survey results:

  • 61% of U.S. adults admit to not having a budget.
  • 34% indicated their household carries credit card debt from month-to-month.
  • 15%, or more than 35 million people, admit to rolling over $2,500 of credit card debt or more monthly.
  • Most adults have not reviewed their credit score (60%) or their credit report (65%) within the past 12 months.
  • Forty-one percent of adults gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance

The majority of the survey respondents said they had concerns related to saving and spending. Many were worried about not having enough “rainy day” savings for an emergency (16%) and not having enough money during retirement (16%).
Despite these results, adults continue to spend more money.

Says the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, “the proportion of adults who are spending less when compared to the previous year continues to decline, from a high in 2009 of 57%, to a low in 2014 of 29%. This suggests that, although consumers are uncomfortable with their lack of savings, they may have nonetheless continually increased their year-over-year spending.”

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