But obstacles such as inflation, high costs and bad credit remain a concern for many.
WSFS Bank study finds Americans are confident about achieving their financial goals
WILMINGTON, Delaware, April 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) are confident they will achieve their financial goals, according to a new survey from WSFS Bank. However, two in five (39%) said they were not confident they could keep pace with the impact of inflation on goods and services, and nearly a quarter (24%) said a bad credit prevents them from using financial products and services, highlighting the challenges consumers currently face in managing their money.
The study, which surveyed 1,500 consumers nationwide and 1,750 in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware area, assessed the financial goals, confidence and access of people 18 and older.
Nearly half of all respondents (49%) think of the need to build an emergency fund for themselves and their family first, compared to 54% regionally. Three-quarters of national respondents (76%) said they were somewhat or very confident in achieving this goal, with 72% of regional respondents agreeing.
“The impacts of inflation are felt by many consumers, which can also hamper goals of building savings and emergency funds, buying a home and more,” said Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS Bank. “While saving can be difficult, it is still an essential way to protect against the changing economic and social influences around us. Consider opening a money market account or a higher interest account for your savings, bargains and reassess your budget regularly to reduce unnecessary spending, and if you need help, contact your local banker or financial adviser.
Black respondents (51%) were more likely to cite improving their credit score as a goal than respondents overall (41%), with 90% of Black respondents saying they were confident of achieving it. Meanwhile, more Hispanic respondents (36%) cited buying/purchasing a house or apartment as their goal than respondents overall (26%), with 68% of Hispanic respondents saying they confident of achieving it.
“Financial goals vary from individual to individual, but they’re key to building a roadmap to success,” Dorsey said. “Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or you’re on the right track, it’s important to set goals and have a plan in place to help you get to the finish line. It is also equally important that all members of our community have equal access to the products and services needed to build trust and achieve their goals.
Financial access and trust
Although the study found that 83% of respondents nationwide believe financial products from traditional financial institutions are accessible to them, there are still barriers for many respondents to overcome.
Among challenges, 32% cited high costs and fees, and nearly a quarter (24%) said bad credit is a reason they may not use financial products and services traditional financial institutions.
“Establishing and maintaining a strong credit score, typically above 700, can be critical to achieving your financial goals as it can impact rate offers for your mortgage, loans and more. “Dorsey said. “If you find that your score still needs to be improved, pay off the loans and credits with the highest interest rates first and try to keep your debt-to-equity ratio below 30% to avoid negatively impact your score.Checking your credit report periodically with major credit bureaus can also help identify inaccuracies or even fraudulent items that could lower your score.
Most respondents (82%) said they were confident in managing their money in general, but nearly three in 10 (29%) struggled to understand the financial products available to them, with 28% saying ‘they’re not sure which products are the best. for them.
“We strive to help clients navigate the different financial tools available through advisors, workshops, lessons and resources,” said Dr. Michelle Burroughs, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at WSFS Bank. “Knowledge is power, but having adequate access to banking services is just as important. Our goal is to provide resources for clients with diverse needs and backgrounds to receive the support they need to succeed financially. For example, programs like the WSFS Neighborhood Opportunity Program can help home seekers achieve their dream.
Personalized advice and services
Banks and financial service providers (32%) were second on the list of sources people rely on to learn money management skills, behind parents and guardians (48%). Sixty percent said they use online banking and almost as many use their bank’s mobile app (54%) to help them manage their finances, but many are still looking for more help with their financial journey.
Black (53%) and Hispanic (52%) respondents nationally were more likely to agree that financial institutions have in mind what is best for them compared to white respondents (41 %) and non-Hispanic (42%). Regionally, 44% of black respondents and 43% of Hispanic respondents agreed with this statement, compared to 35% of white respondents and 35% of non-Hispanic respondents.
Almost three in five respondents (58%) at national and regional level agree that financial institutions offer them useful products and services, but more want free financial advice (35% at national level, 39% at region) and believe that tools adapted to their needs (31% at the national level, 33% at the regional level) could help them achieve their objectives.
“Every consumer’s financial journey is unique, but it’s essential to seek guidance along the way and tap into available resources to help build financial confidence,” Dr. Burroughs said. “Saving and managing money is lifelong learning. Wherever you are on your financial roadmap, I encourage you to seek out resources like the WSFS Knowledge Center for financial advice, and consider making an appointment with your banker to learn more about the products that best meet your unique needs to help you succeed.
The study was conducted by the research company Opinium. The sample includes 1,500 national and 1,750 Greater Philadelphia and Delaware area respondents who reside in five southeastern Pennsylvania counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia), four southern New Jersey (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), and the three counties of Delaware (Kent, Sussex and New Castle). All respondents were 18 years of age or older. The online survey was conducted March 7-19, 2022, with a combined regional and national margin of error of +/- 2.5%.
About Opinium, Inc.
Founded in 2007, Opinium is an award-winning strategic analysis agency founded on the belief that in a world of uncertainty and complexity, success depends on the ability to stay tuned to what people are thinking, feeling and doing. . Creative and curious, the Opinium team is passionate about empowering customers to make the decisions that matter. Opinium works with organizations to define and overcome strategic challenges – helping them learn about the world in which their brands operate. He uses the right approach and methodology to deliver solid insights, strategic advice, and targeted recommendations that drive positive change and results.
About WSFS Financial Company
WSFS Financial Corporation is a multi-billion dollar financial services company. Its main subsidiary, WSFS Bank, is the oldest and largest locally managed bank and trust company, headquartered in Delaware and the Greater Philadelphia area. As of December 31, 2021, WSFS Financial Corporation had $15.8 billion in assets on its balance sheet and $34.6 billion in assets under management and administration. WSFS operates from 112 offices, 89 of which are banking offices, located in Pennsylvania (52), Delaware (42), New Jersey (16), Virginia (1) and Nevada (1) and provides comprehensive financial services including commercial banking, retail banking, cash management and fiduciary and wealth management. Other subsidiaries or divisions include Arrow Land Transfer, Cash Connect®Cypress Capital Management, LLC, Christiana Trust Company of Delaware®NewLane Finance®powder mill® Financial Solutions, West Capital Management®WSFS Institutional Services®WSFS Mortgage®and WSFS wealth® Investments. Serving the Greater Delaware Valley since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. For more information, please visit www.wsfsbank.com.
Media Contact: Kyle Babcock
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