Living Your Best Financial Life

The effects of the recession hit Americans hard, and millions are continuing to recoup what they lost or overcome credit and financial obstacles that have hindered their progress. In addition, many financial problems that are plaguing most Americans are affecting every demographic at pivotal stages in their lives. Large student loans have made it difficult for recent graduates and young professionals to build a healthy financial foundation or enter the mortgage market. Credit card debt and mortgage problems have impeded wealth-building among middle-aged households. Mortgage debt and market losses have made it difficult for older adults to plan for retirement.

The good news is that there is plenty of room to grow, and there are steps individuals of all ages and income brackets can take to start improving their finances. Experts say one of the first actions all consumers should take is strengthening their financial education.

According to the Washington Post, many consumers lack the basic financial education to understand their accounts and make decisions about loans, credit, budgeting and management.

Understanding how to effectively manage their finances is crucial in making smart lifelong money decisions. For example, knowledge about interest rates, payoff practices and credit utilization can help adults choose the right credit card and understand how certain spending habits will affect their standing. Young adults who are aware of their different student loan repayment options may be less likely to get locked into a plan that is not advantageous. Middle-aged and older adults who enroll in housing counseling can find mortgages that are more affordable, learn how to refinance their current home loan or find ways to more quickly pay off their outstanding balance before retirement. In addition, adults may learn about additional resources, such as tutorials, seminars, online calculators and budgeting spreadsheets to help them organize their finances and take advantage of new opportunities.

Lastly, individuals should know they do not have to go through the process of building or correcting their financial profiles alone. Top-rated credit counseling service Consolidated Credit is devoted to helping individuals improve their financial education and explore solutions to their most pressing needs. Consolidated Credit was recently awarded the 2012 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award, highlighting their strong dedication and commitment to helping Americans live their best financial lives.