Debt Reduction and Other Pressures Drop Consumer Confidence |

Consumer confidence continued to fall throughout July, perhaps because U.S. consumers are increasingly worried about such gloomy matters as debt reduction, falling home values, unemployment and rising bankruptcy filings. A story by ABC News reported that U.S. consumer confidence, reacting to the still weak economy, fell two points to -44 in late July. It now looks as if 2010 will go down as the second-worst year ever for consumer confidence. The only year that will go down as worse for this measurement? It’s 2009, of course; there’s no surprise there.

Wary Consumers

As the measurement’s name suggests, the consumer confidence rating measures how optimistic consumers are about the state of the U.S. economy. These days, consumers are far from optimistic. They’re downright gloomy. According to ABC News, a scant 12 percent of consumers rated the U.S. economy positively. Only 28 percent of U.S. consumers said that the buying climate was good. Under half of U.S. consumers, 47 percent, said that they were optimistic about their personal finances. The reasons for this are obvious: The economy is in recovery mode. But it’s a painfully slow recovery. Unemployment, still above 9 percent across the nation, is still too high. At the same time, a growing number of homeowners are watching helplessly as the values of the homes continue to fall. Many other consumers are struggling with debt reduction. It’s not the best time to be a U.S. consumer.

Debt Consolidation Programs

For many U.S. consumers, this is a time to start thinking about searching for the best debt consolidation loans. These loans, of course, are far from perfect: They cause consumers’ credit scores to fall. And they often come with high interest rates and origination fees. But at least when consumers seek debt consolidation help, they are taking steps to control their overwhelming amounts of revolving credit card debt. A debt consolidation program will take all of consumers’ outstanding debts and consolidate them into one single loan with a monthly payment that these individuals can afford. As long as consumers pay off this loan on time each month, the calls from collection agencies will stop. This form of debt reduction can be a bit costly, but it does, at least, eliminate much of the stress that comes from having high levels of debt.

Debt Reduction is Key

In today’s economy, debt reduction is key. Consumers with high levels of debt sometimes feel as if they’ll never escape. And having too much debt damages these consumers’ credit scores. When this happens, they struggle to obtain mortgage, auto and personal loans at favorable interest rates. Consumers, then, should do all they can to reduce their revolving debt. If they do, they’ll find that their lives will improve dramatically.