Latest American Consumer Credit Counseling poll suggest economic concerns remain high and that many Americans will use their tax refund to lower debt and pay off bills.
Boston, MA – March 1, 2012
Consumers are becoming more vigilant about how they spend their tax refunds, according to a recent survey conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling. A new poll out by ACCC suggests that many budget conscious consumers across the country will use this year’s tax refund to help pay down debt and tackle bills.
Of 721 consumers surveyed in a recent ACCC web poll, 33 percent said they will use their 2012 tax refund to catch up on bills, while 29 percent will apply the cash to pay down debt. Just 3 percent of those polled plan on using the refund to purchase something for themselves or for their home and no consumers will be using the refund to open or contribute to a retirement account.
Overall, 39 percent of those surveyed at ConsumerCredit.com were consumers from the Northeast region, while 25 percent were consumers from the southern part of the country.
“This survey shows the economic forces at work, as Americans continued to be concerned about finances and debt,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Tax refunds provide consumers with a financial opportunity to make a step in the right direction and the results of this survey show that those who have encountered financial difficulty in the past are making better decisions about their financial future.”
The results of the ACCC web survey come following the February release of a Federal Reserve report showing consumer debt is once again on the rise, increasing nearly $3 billion in December 2011. December marked the fourth straight monthly increase in revolving credit spending, reversing a recession-spurred decline.
“The numbers released by the Federal Reserve indicate that some consumers are reverting back to pre-recession spending habits,” said Trumble. “This only further demonstrates an increased need for education and resources to help consumers develop better financial management habits.”