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Fewer Consumers Expect to Pay Down Debt in '08, Survey Says

January 7, 2008

CHICAGO — In its third annual survey, TransUnion's TrueCredit.com commissioned GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media to assess Americans' thoughts about their finances at the turn of the New Year. The survey found that in 2007, one in four of all Americans missed making one or more on-time bill payments, with the bulk of those delinquencies occurring on utilities (12 percent), credit cards (12 percent) and medical services (11 percent). Meanwhile, only 17 percent choose paying down debt as their top resolution for 2008, down from 22 percent in last year's survey.

"The drop in priority for paying down debt may be an indication that more consumers are struggling today just to maintain their financial status quo," said Lucy Duni, director of Consumer Education for TransUnion's TrueCredit.com.

The survey also found correlations between age and attitudes about finances: 93 percent of 18-24-year-olds express some financial concern overall in 2008, compared with 69 percent of those 65 and older; 35-49 year olds (19 percent, compared to 14 percent overall) are most apt to be concerned about mortgage payments; 42 percent of those 65 and older are concerned about the value of their stocks and other investments, compared with 21 percent of both 18-24 year olds and 25-34 year olds.

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