Go to Top

NFCC® Survey Reveals Debt Repayment Comes First After Big Lottery Payoffs

National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) November online poll shows paying off debt as a top priority for people hoping to win the jackpot.

Washington, DC – If the recent lottery winners from Tennessee are anything like those who participated in a November survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), their first priority will be to pay off debt after hitting the jackpot. Among the 1,729 people who took part in this online poll, 87% indicated that they would use their winnings to become debt-free. Conversely, only 8% would use the funds to invest and grow savings before considering other priorities.

“This survey demonstrates that eliminating debt is much more important to Americans than building savings,” said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Debt can get in the way of important financial goals when it grows out of control, but there are ways to turn that around without neglecting savings.”

To help Americans regain control of debt while staying on track for a secure financial future, the NFCC is offering the following tips:

  • Rethink the approach toward debt management. When progress is slow on the road to being debt-free, consider increasing monthly payments to make faster progress. Additionally, consider prioritizing all extra payments to the accounts that are charging the highest interest rates. Even the slightest adjustments can make a big difference.
  • Pay yourself first. Contributing to a personal savings account and 401(k) before turning attention to other expenses will help keep important financial goals in sight, and will maintain steady progress toward reaching them.
  • Declutter the debt. If dealing with more than a few accounts, it helps to merge them into a single loan or credit card with one payment. This is called debt consolidation, which works best when resulting in lower interest and fees.

Concerns about unmanageable credit card debt or other financial commitments should get immediate attention, especially when standing in the way of a secure financial future. Anyone seeking guidance with debt repayment and other budget challenges can reach out to an NFCC member agency. To be automatically connected to an NFCC agency, dial (800) 388-2227, or visit www.NFCC.org.

The actual poll question and results are as follows:

“If you won the lottery today, how would you spend it?”

  1. Pay off all debt 87%
  2. Buy a new house or car 3%
  3. Invest and grow savings 8%
  4. Travel and entertainment 1%
  5. Give it away to friends and family 1%

Note: The NFCC’s November Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC website (http://www.NFCC.org) from November 1-30, 2016, and was answered by 1,736 individuals.

About the NFCC

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) is the nation’s first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people’s financial well-being. With 600 member offices serving 50 states and Puerto Rico, our NFCC Certified Credit Counselors are financial advocates, empowering millions of consumers to take charge of their finances through one-on-one financial reviews that address credit card debt, student loans, housing decisions, and overall money management. Make one of the best financial decisions of your life. For expert guidance and advice, call (800) 388-2227 or visit www.nfcc.org today.