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Research and Statistics

Credit card mismanagement is a top financial faux pas, survey shows

A KeyBank study shows 15% of Americans either missed a card payment or carried a balance in the past year

Summary

In a new survey by KeyBank, 15% of American adults admitted they had missed a card payment in the past year or had carried a card balance. Yet, almost half of the respondents (47%) said they consider mismanaging debt to be an extremely or very severe mistake.

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Although 3 out of 4 Americans say they consider themselves financially savvy, more than half copped to making a money mistake in the past year.

The confessions were drawn from KeyBank’s 2020 Financial Wellness Survey, which asked U.S. adults if they had committed any of a long list of financial faux pas.

Leading the top 10 of admitted missteps were buying something on impulse, confessed by a quarter of respondents (25%), and not sticking to a budget, reported by 21%.

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After the errors of not saving for emergencies (18%) and spending beyond one’s means (17%), credit card mismanagement reared its head. Fifteen percent of adults admitted they had missed a card payment in the past year or had carried a card balance.

Yet, almost half of the respondents (47%) said they consider mismanaging debt to be an extremely or very severe mistake, with 40% specifically calling out a missed card payment as very or extremely severe.

KeyBank’s survey was conducted by Schmidt Market Research among 1,200 U.S. adults, age 18 to 70, who have a checking or savings account and who have sole or shared responsibility for their household’s financial decisions. Conducted in October 2019, the survey’s findings were released Jan. 25.

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