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Showing items Tagged with: NFCC
Show items per page Now showing items 1-10 of 49 Prev | Next
  • Americans not confident in their ability to manage personal finances
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on July 09, 2014

    Americans aren’t confident in their ability to manage personal finances

    Over a quarter of Americans wish they never had to deal with personal finances at all. It's okay to lack confidence in your money management skills - as long as you're willing to do something about it.

  • Am I okay financially?
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on May 27, 2014

    Woman worries about her finances

    Do you need help with your finances? Take a look at the average consumer who seeks credit counseling assistance and see how you compare.

  • Poll shows worst decisions are financial
    Submitted by: Jesse Campbell on December 11, 2013

    Most bad decisions are financial

    When choosing between marriage, health, job and personal finance categories, an overwhelming percent say they typically make the worst decisions when it involves their personal finances.

  • Your survival plan for the government shutdown
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on October 04, 2013

    government shutdown survival plan

    The government shutdown is now in place, and along with it came a good amount of uncertainty, causing many Americans to wonder how they will survive financially.  

    By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will work without pay until the shutdown ends, while others may be furloughed indefinitely. Some workers are not adequately prepared to deal with a loss of income, even a short-term one. 

    For those living from paycheck to paycheck or without significant savings, any income interruption is likely to put them over the financial edge and negatively impact credit. 

    For example, consider the statistics below from the 2013 National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Financial Literacy Survey:  

    • Thirty-three percent of respondents admit to not paying all bills on time; 
    • Thirty-nine percent have zero non-retirement savings; 
    • Thirty-nine percent carry debt over from month to month, and 
    • Sixteen percent have utilized overdraft protection in the last 12 months. 

    “The government shutdown should be a wake-up call for everyone, as very few have absolute job security,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Whether due to an unplanned expense or a job loss, no one has ever regretted being financially prepared, and preparation starts with understanding where you stand today.” 

    The NFCC and Money Management International (MMI) advise consumers to take the following steps to put themselves in a better financial position, regardless of what the coming months may hold:  

    • Assess your current financial situation – The NFCC’s new Sharpen Your Financial Focus™ program is the ideal place to start. The program consists of the following three steps, with the consumer free to start with whichever best meets his or her financial needs. Consumers can access the program by visiting SharpenToday.org
      • MyMoneyCheckUp™, MMCU, is the NFCC’s free online financial self-assessment tool, providing consumers with a means of evaluating four key areas of personal finance: budgeting and credit management, saving and investing, planning for retirement, and home equity. After answering a series of topic specific questions, a personalized assessment of the individual’s overall financial health and associated behaviors is generated. With areas of concern identified, the analysis suggests changes that consumers are encouraged to implement in order to become more financially independent. The tool is available in English or Spanish.  
      • A one-on-one financial review with an NFCC Certified Financial Professional to find solutions to any immediate concerns, and address long-term financial stability. 
      • A financial workshop providing a deeper understanding of topics of specific interest to them. 
    • Face the financial facts – After completing the financial discovery step in MMCU, consumers may find the results surprising. Don’t ignore them. Financial problems rarely resolve themselves, particularly in emergency situations. Take action sooner rather than later, as delaying only makes the problem harder to resolve. 
    • Take control – Admittedly, some things are beyond a person’s financial control, but some aren’t. Control what you can by doing the following: o Review the credit report and score, both necessary to fully understand the current financial situation, and provide a framework for next steps. 
      • Create a cash-flow calendar listing all sources of income. Next, plug in the dates all bills are due. This will ensure that bills are paid on time and protect the credit report and score from future damage.
      • Commit to paying down debt, and if necessary, suspend all charging, consistently moving toward solid financial ground. 
      • Reach out to a legitimate credit counseling agency for help creating a survival plan. 

    “If there is a quick resolution to the shutdown, nothing has been lost by implementing the above steps,” continued Cunningham. “If not, consumers will be better prepared to face whatever comes their way financially.” 

    For help navigating the financial strains brought on by the government shutdown, visit SharpenToday.org where financial survival tools can be found.  



  • NFCC poll: Close to one in five consumers comfortable carrying debt
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on August 14, 2013

    Credit card vs cash video game

    A recent National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) online poll revealed that close to one in five consumers, 18 percent, believe that carrying credit card debt over from month-to-month is a responsible way to manage his or her finances.

    “This data suggests that not only are many Americans are using credit cards to fund a lifestyle their income can’t support, but they are comfortable doing so,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.

    Consumers need to be aware of the consequences associated with continually carrying credit card debt from month to month, some of which are below:

    • Interest on a credit card is typically calculated on an average daily balance. For those who carry a balance over from the previous cycle, interest is not only charged on the unpaid balance, but on any new purchases added to the balance.
    • With interested added onto the balance month after month, consumers end up paying interest on the interest.
    • Carrying a balance has the potential to negatively impact a person’s debt to credit ratio, one of the main components of credit scores.
    • A higher balance decreases the amount of credit available for future purchases. However, there can also be disadvantages to charging too little.

    At the other end of the spectrum, a similar number of respondents, 21 percent, indicated that they do not use credit cards. While this approach to money management can avoid many financial pitfalls, it too has its problems:

    • Although it is possible to pay cash or use a debit card for daily expenses, these types of transactions are usually not reported to the credit bureau. Most people need credit for major purchases such as a house or car, but without a thick and positive credit file, credit may be denied.
    • Without credit cards, people miss out on the convenience of being able to purchase items or pay for services when cash is not readily available.
    • Carrying cash is risky, as the money could be lost or stolen, whereas credit cards often offer consumer protection features including those against loss.
    • Credit cards provide a safety net for emergency situations.

    The majority of poll respondents, 61 percent, believe that paying credit card debt in full each month is the only responsible way to manage personal finances. The benefits associated with this type of behavior far outweigh any disadvantages and include the following:

    • Timely bill payments and a low credit utilization ratio are typically the top weighted elements in credit scoring models. Therefore, this type of behavior could have a positive impact on an individual’s credit scores.
    • The convenience of using credit can be enjoyed without paying any interest or penalties.
    • The entire line of credit remains available for future use.
    • Stress and worries of being over-extended are avoided.

    What about you? Do you rely more heavily on either cash or credit, or do you fall somewhere in the middle? What's your preference? Let us know by leaving a comment!

  • Five myths about credit counseling
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on April 30, 2013

    Magician unveils credit counseling myths

    Debunking the top five credit counseling myths, using a powerful tool — the FACTS.

  • Study shows majority of consumers fear identity theft
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on October 19, 2012
    As part of National Protect Your Identity Week, we offer the eight things you can do right now to ensure your smartphone data is safe.
  • Could you live without credit?
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on October 15, 2012
    Almost half of consumers indicated in a recent NFCC poll that the use of credit is essential to their everyday lives.
  • What you need to know about your credit report
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on July 25, 2012
    It is important to understand what a credit report is and what it isn’t. At its core, the purpose of a credit report is to provide those with a valid need a track record of a person’s credit history. Having a way to evaluate the risk of extending new credit is just as important to the consumer as it is to the business.
  • My biggest financial regret (and the 11 easy tricks I wish I had known!)
    Submitted by: sitecore\jhorton on July 05, 2012
    I don't know about you, but I have a lot of financial regrets. Prior to taking a job at Money Management International, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about finances. But boy was I wrong! The more I learn, the more my financial mistakes of the past become clear to me. And my biggest financial regret is actually something I continue to struggle with to this very day.
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