stacking coins to grow

Understanding money is not always easy.

When it comes to personal finance, there’s a lot to think about — spending habits, creating a budget, investments, savings, retirement, and more. Even with careful planning, you can still run into unexpected expenses.

But the more you know, hopefully the more comfortable you feel about achieving your short- and long-term financial goals. 

Increasing your financial literacy with these seven personal finance facts is a great start.

1. If you have debt, you’re not alone.

Total non-mortgage debt in the United States measures in billions of dollars. The important thing is that you have a plan for paying it back over time in a way that works with your budget.

2. Households with credit card debt average over $6,000 owed to their creditors.

American households that have credit card debt average a total balance of over $6,000, according to a recent NerdWallet study. No matter how much debt you have, potentially lowering your rate with debt consolidation could be a smart way to pay down that debt faster and organize your payments into one monthly amount.

3. Many Americans would have trouble with a $400 emergency.

According to a recent survey from the Federal Reserve, thirty-seven-percent of Americans would have difficulty covering an unexpected $400 expense. Being unable to cover emergency costs can be stressful, especially if you’re already dealing with debt. Fortunately, with the right planning, you can pay off debt and add to your savings at the same time.

4. Interest costs you in both money and time.

The longer you have debt, the more it will cost you. For example, a $15,000 credit card debt paid in minimum monthly payments (roughly $297/month) at a 16% APR would cost $10,231 in interest by the time the debt gets paid off, assuming you don’t make any new purchases. It would also take more than seven years to pay off that debt at that rate. If you have higher interest debt, credit card debt consolidation may be one effective way to reduce your costs in money and time. 

5. Medical expenses continue to rise.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that consumer spending on healthcare his risen every year since 2004 and also found that healthcare spending rose almost five percent between 2018 and 2019. Even with the benefit of insurance, medical debt from uncovered or partially covered procedures can build up quickly. Keep careful track of medical expenses in your budget.

6. Personal loans can help with both expenses and savings.

Covering major expenses is a common use for personal loans. But if you’re looking for ways to generate more savings, a personal loan can help with that too. For example, debt consolidation with a personal loan could reduce interest costs and help generate more funds for savings. Try exploring how to manage your money better to help your financial health and then decide if a personal loan can help along the way.

7. Average FICO® Scores show positive gains.

The average FICO® Score in the United States rose steadily from 2009 to 2019. That’s reason to feel positive about achieving financial goals. You can work through challenges and setbacks. A robust financial life is within your reach.

Knowledge, simplicity, responsibility

With more knowledge of the facts about money, you have more context to work with your finances. It’s a complicated subject. Everyone’s situation is different. And there can be obstacles to reaching the financial future you want. But there is help.

By simplifying your debt with responsible borrowing, you may be able to achieve greater control of your money. A personal loan can be an excellent tool to assist you.

Learn more about the benefits of Discover Personal Loans.

FICO® Credit Score Terms: Your FICO® Credit Score, key factors and other credit information are based on data from TransUnion® and may be different from other credit scores and other credit information provided by different bureaus. This information is intended for and only provided to Primary account holders who have an available score. See about the availability of your score. Your score, key factors and other credit information are available on and cardmembers are also provided a score on statements. Customers will see up to a year of recent scores online. Discover and other lenders may use different inputs, such as FICO® Credit Scores, other credit scores and more information in credit decisions. This benefit may change or end in the future. FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.