Friday, Jun 22 2018 | Updated at 02:59 AM EDT

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Jun 04, 2018 09:43 AM EDT

Survey: 45 Percent Of American Consumers Not Properly Educated On Credit Card Use

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Student Loans
A new survey reveals that most consumers are not educated on how to properly use credit cards and how this makes the situation worse for those with student loans and other debts.
(Photo : Frankie Leon | Flickr)

Student loans are a big problem, but they are not the only financial factors in a borrower's budget. While Americans often show a lack of knowledge about student loans, a recent survey showed that 45 percent of consumers were not educated on credit card use, which can make up a significant portion of an individual's debt. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company that helps its clients with federal income-driven repayment plan applications, reminds borrowers that it's important to understand and address all their debt obligations.

"Your financial health depends on a number of things, including student loans and credit card debt," said Sara Molina, manager at AFBC. "To see so many self-taught credit card users is alarming because, just like student loans, credit cards can affect your financial future."

Despite low formal education about credit cards, consumers are using them well. About 49 percent have less than $5,000 in credit card debt, while only six percent owe more than $20,000. However, when they also have student loans to contend with, even a small credit card balance can become unmanageable.

AFBC recommends that borrowers who feel that they do not know enough about credit cards or how to deal with their credit card debt speak with a financial expert who can give personalized advice. Those who struggle with their student loans or feel they keep them from focusing on paying down their credit card balance may benefit from federal income-driven repayment plans (IDRs). Such plans can reduce payments by basing them off income and family size, allowing borrowers to redirect some funds to their credit card debt.

"At AFBC, we have helped our clients apply for IDRs, and we hope they have been able to focus on their other financial goals, whether those entail paying down credit card debt or putting the money aside," said Molina. "We encourage anyone struggling with federal student loans to look into IDRs."

About American Financial Benefits Center

American Financial Benefits Center is a document preparation company that helps clients apply for federal student loan repayment plans that fit their personal financial and student loan situation. Through its strict customer service guidelines, the company strives for the highest levels of honesty and integrity.

Each AFBC telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).

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