American Credit Card Debt is So High Many Wish They Could Travel Back in Time to Fix It

Debt problem.
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Have you ever made a decision that you wish you could go back and change? You’re not alone. And for many Americans, that decision relates to financial choices and debt. In a recent survey conducted by OnePoll, commissioned by TrueAccord, 76% of Americans made an average of five financial decisions they regret in the past five years.

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Topping the list? Fifty-one percent regret not starting a retirement plan while they were young. But half the items in the top 10 related to outstanding debt and credit management. Forty-three percent of respondents said they regret not paying attention to their credit score, with 81% saying their credit score is more important than their social lives.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they regret defaulting on payments and ending up in debt collection, while 38% regret overspending on credit cards they can’t afford to repay. Thirty-six percent regret letting student debt accumulate.

There is good news, however, according to the survey. People are quick to ask for help in a financial crisis. Sixty-three percent said they turn to someone they trust, such as their parents (50%), their best friend (48%), or their primary bank (46%). Respondents said they appreciate help and advice when it’s given, too. Eighty-seven percent of survey respondents said they attribute their financial “wins” to those who gave them advice, while 71% said they learn by watching others’ financial mistakes and try not to make the same choices. And more than three-quarters of people polled (76%) have planned a “debt-free” celebration for the day when they pay off their debt.

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Ohad Samet, founder of TrueAccord digital debt collection agency told Talker that there are roughly 80 million Americans with past-due debt. Debt collection systems, the ability to communicate with debt collectors, budget considerations, and a lack of financial literacy are substantial roadblocks to paying down that debt.

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“For those who are able to repay their balances, there may still be a longer-lasting impact to their credit score that can be difficult to remedy and further inhibit financial stability. People will continue to borrow money when they need it, but what’s important is that they are informed on loan or credit terms and have a financial plan in place to ensure they’re making smart spending and repayment decisions,” Samet told Talker.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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