STORY: Down with debt

According to ValuePenguin, a reputable online financial research firm, 38% of all households in the United States have credit card debt. Consumers with high credit card debt are often charged higher interest rates or risk being denied credit and even employment by some organizations and businesses.

In 2015, 3,700 participants enrolled in Alabama A&M Cooperative Extension’s Making Money Count program, a series of personal financial management courses that help individuals and families make better financial decisions to eliminate debt. Three months after completing four or more classes:

  • 76% made financial decisions less impulsively
  • 71% used a spending plan
  • 60% tracked their spending
  • 58% found ways to reduce expenses by an average of $48 per month
  • 79% had a saving account
  • 80% had a checking account
  • 51% used debt management software
  • 33% requested their credit reports for the very first time

All of these behaviors help individuals and families save money, reduce debt and increase financial freedom.