Press Release: Americans Feel Lingering Effects of Recession

Survey Also Finds Recession Helping To Raise Awareness Of Credit Scores And Leading To Start Of Good Money Habits

San Mateo, Calif. — June 28, 2011 — Consumer money resource today released results from its biannual Consumer Money Survey for the first half of 2011. This regular survey gauges consumer money attitudes and behaviors across a wide range of financial topics, including credit, debt, budgeting, and retirement by posing questions to site visitors using the Bills IQ tool.

"The Consumer Money Survey provides a direct view into the real money behaviors and issues affecting everyday Americans," said Brad Stroh, CEO of "Over the last six months, it found that even as many consumers are still struggling to emerge from the recession, they are also working hard to adopt positive money management strategies and healthier financial habits. It is reassuring to see that while in the past we were collectively more likely to hide from money problems, today more families are confronting their issues head-on."

The Consumer Money Survey consists of 28 detailed questions that help define a respondent’s knowledge of a particular financial topic category or a specific financial behavior. The results are compiled and reported every six months. The most compelling questions and answers from the first half of 2011 include:

Budgeting and Cash Flow:

  • 25% of users have been late at least once on their monthly bills in the last year;
  • Of those who said they were behind on their bills, 28% are concerned they will never catch up;
  • Of those respondents with children, 64% did not currently make any contributions to an education fund;
  • Less than half (48%) of those surveyed keep a budget to track monthly expenses and cash flow. This is down from 52% in 2010.

Credit Scores and Cards:

  • 18% of respondents have maxed out at least one of their credit cards, down from 22% in 2010;
  • 31% pay off their balances in full every month. This is down from 36% in 2010;
  • When surveyed about the amount of credit card debt they are carrying, respondents with current debt stated:
    • Less than $5,000: 27%
    • Between $5,000-10,000: 16%
    • More than $10,000 in debt: 20%
  • Only 6% of users did not know their credit score.


  • 39% of survey takers are scared or uneasy about their prospects for retirement;
  • Nearly half of respondents said they plan to retire between 60-65, while 16% said they don’t ever see being able to retire;

A complete list of questions and percentage answers from the Consumer Money Survey for the first half of 2011 is available by contacting The current edition of the survey polled a representative sample set of more than 500 users with an average age of 35 years old.

Bills IQ is a tool that assesses basic consumer knowledge and competence levels across five core money categories: credit, debt, budget, wealth and life plan. To learn more about or to take the Bills IQ test, please visit /iq.