Credit card debt and other financial concerns still plague many Americans

Credit card debt and other financial concerns still plague many Americans Though the economy has been steadily improving for more than a year now, millions of Americans are still struggling financially and many feel they need significant amounts of debt relief and other assistance to get their lives back on track.

Many consumers are still trying rebuild their finances as a result of hardships faced during the recent recession, but now more are at least recognizing that they're having a significant amount of difficulties in dealing with their finances, according to a new survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. After completing a 10-entry true/false quiz designed to illustrate signs of extreme financial difficulty, any one of which could be a sign that they needed significant help, 80 percent of consumers said they were in need of a "major overhaul." Another 13 percent said they could use a tune-up.

"This statistic parallels the findings of the recent NFCC Financial Literacy Survey in which 80 percent of adults indicated they could benefit from additional advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional," said Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the NFCC. "It is encouraging that people recognize how perilous their financial situation has become. Now they need to take action to resolve the problem and keep it from spiraling out of control."

Among the entries on the quiz were a number of questions related to consumers' handling of their credit card accounts, the report said. One led consumers to question whether their outstanding balances were growing every month, while another brought up whether those whose accounts were approaching their credit limits were applying for new cards to stay afloat financially. Others dealt with regularly making late payments – and skipping them altogether some months – or being pursued by debt collectors after bills went unpaid for several months.

Millions of Americans still struggling with credit card debt may find that it's not easy to get their finances back in order, but doing so is crucial to not only their financial health, but in many cases, also their happiness. Making sure to have all payments to credit card and other lenders sent in on time and in full is the most important aspect of a consumer's credit score, and the amount being borrowed versus the total overall limits is another major concern.