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Survey Says: Personal Finance Knowledge Gaps Are Leading to Costly Mistakes

Lack of financial knowledge is leading to costly financial missteps for many Americans according to new research released by Experian®. A survey of 2,000 adults across the U.S. revealed three in five adults feel their limited understanding of credit and personal finance has led them to make financial mistakes, with 60% of this group stating these mistakes have cost them $1,000 or more.

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Experian’s research also highlights the gap between the desire for financial education and its availability in schools. While 78% of adults believe that personal finance courses should be mandatory in high schools, only 25 states across the U.S. currently require them schools.

The study revealed many consumers have an appetite for further education, with two-thirds of adults (66%) stating they’d like to expand their knowledge of credit and personal finance, with even higher percentages among Gen Zers (80%) and Millennials (79%).

Where consumers are learning today
According to Experian’s research, adults most frequently learn about credit and personal finance from a parent or family member (36%), in school, college or through community classes (33%) or through online research (32%). Additionally, they consider banks and credit unions (45%), financial advisors (48%) and national credit reporting agencies like Experian (37%) to be some of the most trusted sources to learn about improving their credit score.

Not surprisingly, social media is another common source of information about credit and personal finance. Thirty percent of adults have turned to social media to learn more about credit and personal finance. This sentiment rang especially true for America’s youngest consumers with over half of Gen Zers (52%) and 47% of Millennials stating they learned about credit and personal finance through social media in some form.  

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