When people are experiencing financial problems, they are less likely to reach out to financial professionals, according to a new survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Conducted by the Riverside, Calif.-based organization, the survey of 849 people found that 44% of respondents are most likely to reach out to a parent or other family member when experiencing financial distress.
Only 3% said they are likely to ask a financial planner for help, while 13% of those surveyed said they would contact a nonprofit credit counselor. Additionally, only 8% of survey respondents said they would turn to a friend to borrow money and 31% said they would ask no one for help with their financial issues.
“Familiarity and trust play key roles in determining who we turn to in times of financial distress,” Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC, said. “Family can seem like a safe haven for those struggling with debt or other money problems, but relatives may not always be in a position to adequately offer the best solutions.”
What’s more, providing a fast bailout to a relative may get them out of a bind temporarily, but it does not do much to prevent the situation from repeating, according to the NFCC.
When giving relatives money to bring debt payments current, whether it is a gift or a loan, NFCC suggested that family members attach some conditions such as a visit with a nonprofit credit counselor or attend a personal money management workshop.
The NFCC noted research indicates that money management programs can help most people reduce their debts and improve their ability to manage their finances.