In light of the country’s ongoing economic troubles and stubborn levels of consumer debt, National Debt Relief recently commissioned a simple survey to measure the public’s attitude toward debt reduction. Using the Google Surveys platform, we asked a simple question of a random sample of adult Internet users: “Would you let your credit score drop temporarily by 200+ points if you could reduce your credit card debt by 50%?”
We weren’t exactly sure what to expect from respondents, but we’re glad that we commissioned the survey. Below, we break down the results of the survey and discuss their implications. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of National Debt Relief’s debt relief services, you’ll want to take a moment to read this analysis.
An Overview of the Results
First, the survey’s headline result was clear: In response to the question that we posed, nearly 84 percent of all respondents gave an emphatic “no.” In other words, fewer than one in six respondents were willing to accept a 200-point hit to their credit in exchange for a simultaneous debt reduction of 50 percent. With a margin of error of around 2.5 percent, this result was statistically significant to the point of virtual certainty.
Breaking Down the Details
Virtually every metric that we used to analyze the survey’s results supported this overarching theme. With over 86 percent saying that they wouldn’t accept the deal that we posed, members of the 18-24 demographic were particularly protective of their credit scores. Only members of the 25-34 demographic answered “no” at a rate of less than 80 percent.
Likewise, urban respondents seemed to be particularly protective of their credit scores. Perhaps in response to the financial hardship to which they’re privy on a daily basis, city-dwellers responded “no” at an overwhelming rate of 86.7 percent. Although suburban residents were slightly less worried about a 200-point credit-score hit, they still favored the status quo by an 81 percent margin.
National Debt Relief’s geographic analysis of the survey results also points to a real regional divide on this issue. Of the country’s four broad regions — the Northeast, South, Midwest and West — the Northeast and West were more likely to support debt reduction measures that temporarily affect credit ratings. Whereas about 81.5 percent of Northeasterners and Westerners said “no” to our proposition, an overwhelming 87 percent of Southerners had the same response. In other words, folks from the South tend to be even more protective of their credit scores than people who live elsewhere.
Other analytics were less telling. Although females were more likely than males to refuse a 200-point drop, the spread came in at less than 3 percent. Since this was within the metric’s margin of error, it wouldn’t be fair to say that females are more risk-averse than males. However, it’s clear that members of both genders are wary of doing anything to hurt their credit scores.
An Important Divide
However, the survey’s sharpest divide showed among members of different income groups. Just 10 percent of low-earning respondents — defined as those who took in $25,000 or less during the most recent tax year — were in favor of the deal that we proposed. By contrast, nearly 20 percent of individuals who earn over $100,000 per year were comfortable with a major credit-score hit in exchange for meaningful debt relief.
These results probably reflect low-wage earners’ relative lack of financial security. When you’re struggling to put food on your table, it’s hard to imagine taking a step that could reduce your ability to obtain credit, housing or stable employment. By contrast, high earners may have retirement accounts, home equity, existing credit lines and liquid assets to get them through a temporary credit-score drop.
What Have We Learned?
Although they come with some geographical and demographic variation, these results paint a consistent picture that’s not terribly surprising. Simply put, consumers are wary of doing anything that will damage their credit scores. This understandable aversion to credit-score damage reflects a longstanding American tradition. Unfortunately, it’s not borne out by reality.
While it’s true that National Debt Relief’s proven debt reduction programs can cause temporary credit-score drops on the order of 200 points for participants with good credit, many of our clients already have low credit scores. If your score is in the 500 to 600 range, most of the damage to your credit rating is already “priced in.” Since your score has less room to fall, you won’t be penalized for beginning a managed debt reduction plan.
What’s more, many of National Debt Relief’s clients don’t experience such severe drops. Even if your score sits above 700, you might experience a hit of just 100 to 150 points. Within a couple of years of beginning our debt reduction program, your score could be attractive enough to support the purchase of a new home or car.
Since everyone is different, there’s no “typical” National Debt Relief experience. However, many of our clients are able to reduce their debts by significant margins with minimal damage to their credit scores. Even if you do experience a steep drop, it’ll happen quickly. As long as you continue to adhere to the terms of our program, your credit score will steadily improve over time.
Your Next Steps
As the results of this survey show, American consumers are hungry for more information about pressing financial issues that can affect their future in a real way. National Debt Relief strives to provide detailed, unbiased, up-to-date information about credit ratings, frugal living, debt reduction techniques and the debt settlement process.
For more information about these issues, take a moment to look through the other pages on this site. The “Services” section outlines National Debt Relief’s debt relief strategies in greater detail. The “Options” section discusses alternatives to the company’s proven debt-reduction tools. For general information about personal finance and planning, the “Tools & Tips” section provides an exhaustive list of topics.
Of course, National Debt Relief’s customer support team is available through the site’s convenient contact form and chat feature. Customers who wish to speak with a debt counselor over the phone may call 800-300-9550 during extended business hours.