About 40 percent of consumers recently said they would rate their financial literacy as being a C, a D or even an F, according to a survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. About the same proportion said they carry some credit card debt from one month to the next, and 26 percent also noted that they’ve increased their spending over the last year.
“It is disturbing to note that more than half of adults do not maintain a budget or track their expenditures, the basic building blocks of financial stability,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Since April is Financial Literacy Month, it is the ideal time for consumers to take control of their financial future, and for all Americans to invest in America’s collective future through a national commitment to financial education.”
However, two-thirds of respondents said they pay for most of their purchases with either cash or debit cards, rather than taking on debt, the report said. Another 76 percent also said that they would likely benefit from seeking the help of a financial professional.
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While some experts believe that consumers have cut their credit card debt by making greater efforts to make larger payments, others say the continued declines in delinquencies and defaults are the result of past charge offs locking riskier consumers out of the borrowing system.