The Corporation For Enterprise Development (CFED) recently released the results from its 2012 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard survey, a comprehensive look at Americans’ financial security. Some of the more interesting findings:
· Nearly 45% of households do not have a basic personal safety net to meet present-day emergencies (job loss, medical crisis) or future needs (child’s college education, homeownership).
· The average amount of revolving debt, including credit cards and lines of credit, is more than $10,700 per borrower.
· More than half of the survey respondents had a TransUnion credit score at or below 700.
· More than 30% of households did not have a savings account of any kind.
Are you part of one or more of these statistics? With patience and proper planning, almost anyone can pay down their debt and start to save.
Saving for Emergencies: You never know what’s going to happen, so preparing for uncertainty is crucial. Keeping $500 to $1,000 of savings for emergencies can allow you to meet unexpected financial challenges if/when they arise.
Credit Card Debt: There are some basic tenants for getting out of debt:
* Stop Borrowing
* Make a Plan
* Create a Budget
* Don’t Overspend
These things aren’t achieved overnight, and there will probably be some trial-and-error involved until you find a plan that is right for you. But if you follow those simple steps you’ll find you can get out of – and stay out of – debt.
The Importance of Credit History: Good credit plays an important role in your financial life. Not only is it essential for obvious things like qualifying for a mortgage or getting a credit card, but also for less obvious things like getting cellular telephone service, renting a car, and perhaps even getting a job.
Financial Products to Help You Save: Keep your money safe and secure. Banks, credit unions and even the government offer a variety of financial products that can help you save. Not sure what’s right for you? Consult a financial planner/advisor to learn more about options that are available to meet your savings goals.