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MORE DIFFICULT TO PAY BILLS THAN THREE YEARS AGO

A large number of consumers are worrying more about making ends meet. According to a study conducted by the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (NFCC)®, 54 percent of the participants said it is tougher to pay their bills today than it was three years ago and 90 percent said they actually worry about paying their bills.
According to NFCC, this is no surprise. In fact, the numbers compiled by the NFCC study correspond to the increase in the number of people counseled by one of NFCC’s member agencies. NFCC provided 816,000 face-to-face counseling sessions in 1995 a 15 percent increase over 1994.

The NFCC Study also showed:

-54 percent said it is tougher to pay their bills today than it was three years ago.
-90 percent of those surveyed said they worry about paying their bills.
-89 percent said it was easy to get into debt today because of the availability of credit.
-71 percent believe that most consumers do not budget their income and expenses.
-98 percent said that parents should teach children how to manage money.
-84 percent felt money management should be taught in schools.

This study indicates that a large number of consumers are concerned about their financial situation, according to Durant Abernethy, president of NFCC.
“One of the main reasons that people have financial difficulties is lack of planning and budgeting, often as a result of attitudes regarding money management learned early in life,” Abernethy said. “Whether consumers are worried about getting their debt under control, concerned about their children being taught the importance of money management or simply need help in planning a budget, an NFCC member counseling agency can provide the counseling and education they need. “

NFCC member counseling agencies, many of which are known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service agencies, are non-profit and offer free or low-cost professional money management counseling to consumers nationwide. In addition, the agencies also conduct numerous specialized education programs each year including classroom instruction, community workshops and workplace presentations addressing a variety of financial and consumer issues and to teach consumers how to be prevent credit and money management problems.

The NFCC study was conducted by Gelb Consulting Group of Houston and involved a random telephone survey of 800 consumers nationwide.

The National Foundation for Consumer Credit is a non-profit membership organization whose purpose is to promote the wise use of credit through education and counseling. NFCC serves as the umbrella group for 200 member services operating nearly 1,200 counseling offices throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

The telephone number of the nearest NFCC member may be found in the business pages of the local directory under “Consumer Credit Counseling Service,” or by dialing 1-800-388-2227. Spanish speaking consumers can call 1-800-682-9832. Consumers can also learn more by visiting the NFCC Home Page at http://www.nicc.org.

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