Defaulting on payments and ending up in debt collection is the fourth-most popular regret among consumers with respect to their financial situations, according to the results of a poll commissioned by TrueAccord, which it released earlier this week. The poll also revealed that Americans are carrying about $3,000 worth of credit card debt each, on average, and three-quarters of consumers who are working on getting out of debt have planned their celebrations for when that occurs.
The most popular financial regret felt by Americans was not starting a retirement plan when they were young, which was cited by 51% of those who participated in the poll. Next came not paying attention to their credit score (43%), buying cheap goods (41%), defaulting on payments and ending up in collection (41%), and overspending on credit cards that could not be repaid (38%).
On average, consumers say they are losing nine hours of sleep per week because of their financial woes, and 76% have made an average of five financial decisions they regret in the past five years.
“There are close to 80 million Americans with past due debt and most want to pay it off and move on with their lives. But that is exceedingly difficult, especially in a debt collection system that treats consumers poorly and is more interested in process than simplifying debt repayment,” said Ohad Samet, founder of TrueAccord, in a statement. “What we see more and more are consumers in debt who want to pay off their balances but are met with challenges of communicating with collectors, financial literacy and budget considerations that create roadblocks to being debt-free.”
Interestingly enough, the average person doesn’t understand the importance of their credit score until they are 28 years old, but believe it’s better to start building credit starting at 25 years old.