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7 The State of American Finances

The Challenges

American families are facing the challenges that come with starting a family and raising children. However, they are also trying to figure out how to pay off their student loans, improve their credit, and deal with unforeseen dangers such as data breaches and new technology leaving them vulnerable to possible identity theft.

Education Debt

Education debt increased substantially between 2010 and 2015. Paying for college continues to be a top concern among adults already in the workforce as they attempt to pay off large student loans and also pay for their children’s education.

  • 38.8% 2013

    families with education debt

    22.4% 2001

  • 40 million

    Americans have at least one outstanding student loan

  • classical building
    In 2014 11.3% student loan debt was 90 or more days delinquent or in default
  • 28% blue piggybank
    On average, parents plan to cover about 64 percent of their children’s college costs, but are only on track to save about 28 percent.
  • academic hat
    Nearly three-fourths of education debt is held by families in which one member has a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

family of four Only 48 percent of parents are saving for college.

Credit Scores

Credit scores are an important part of our financial health and directly affect our ability to secure financing for personal or business purposes. A large number of consumers don’t understand their credit score or the factors that determine it.

  • Two-fifths are unaware that credit card issuers and mortgage lenders use credit scores to make a decision about their credit availability and pricing.
  • Two-fifths incorrectly believe that demographic information such as age and marital status are used to calculate credit scores.
  • Between one-quarter and one-third don’t know that lenders are required to tell borrowers the credit score used to determine whether or not they qualify for a loan.

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