A large majority of Americans feel they could benefit from advice from a professional when confronted by everyday financial questions, according to a new nationwide survey.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they could benefit from help from professionals on financial issues, according to the 2013 Financial Literacy Survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association. The groups surveyed 2,037 adults in early March.
Forty percent of respondents gave themselves a grade of C, D or F on their knowledge about personal finance, a number that has not changed for the past three years, according to the survey.
Twenty-eight percent said they turn to family and friends for assistance with debt and 27 percent said they use professional nonprofit credit counseling agencies.
The survey was released today in conjunction with the beginning of National Financial Literacy Month.
When asked what they were most worried about financially (and allowed to give more than one answer), 57 percent said a lack of savings in general; 43 percent said they were concerned about not having enough of a rainy day fund for emergencies; and 38 percent said they did not have enough savings for retirement.
“The data suggests that having enough money to resolve daily emergencies takes precedence over the longer-term retirement planning,” the survey says.
Twenty-six percent of respondents said they were worried about paying their debts, including paying credit card debt (13 percent), student loans (8 percent), vehicle loans (7 percent) and medical debts (6 percent).
One quarter are worried about being able to afford or obtain health insurance.
Fear of losing their job was a concern for 18 percent of the respondents, a number that is described as disturbingly high by the survey.