Survey of 2,600 adults in US and UK examines outlook on personal finance and economy, impacts of COVID-19 and what it means to achieve economic freedom
SAN DIEGO, December 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Encore Capital Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ECPG), a specialist international finance company, today announced the results of its first study on economic freedom. The survey asked 2,600 people in Encore’s largest markets, the United States and the United Kingdom, about their feelings on personal finances and the economy, and explored the impact of the COVID pandemic -19. With Encore’s mission to create pathways to economic freedom as a backdrop, he also asked people what the term “economic freedom” means to them and how they can achieve it. The research was commissioned by Encore and conducted by Morning Consult.
A detailed report of the results is available on Encore’s website, but some of the highlights of the study include:
The majority of people polled in the US (57%) and UK (55%) still feel positive about their personal financial future, although they have become more pessimistic since the start of the pandemic. People in both places are less certain about the future of the wider economy, with 43% of Americans and 37% of UK adults feeling positive. Overall economic sentiment has declined significantly from pre-pandemic levels in both locations.
In the US (33%) and UK (50%), most people see credit card debt as their main source of stress. However, for low-income Americans, medical debt is ranked as the most stressful (32%).
Overall, adults in the US (64%) and UK (64%) believe having an emergency fund is their main financial goal, but for people in both countries who said that their main stressors were credit card and phone / electricity debts. , repaying or eliminating debt is an obvious priority.
More Americans (61%) than their UK counterparts (52%) are confident in their ability to repay their debt in the coming year, but they are aligned on how to tackle their debt – the pay off in small increments over time.
In both places, respondents shared that “economic freedom” means the ability to worry and stress less, to save for their children’s education, and to be able to make choices.
“Our business partners with consumers every day to help them solve their unpaid financial obligations, and we strive to continually learn more about how consumers feel, the stress they face and the tools they use. need to address these issues, ”said Ashish Masih, President of Encore. and CEO. “We wanted to report publicly on these results not only to show how they align with our work, but also to provide information to anyone who is committed to helping others achieve financial well-being. “
Providing hardship relief is one example of how Encore’s approach is aligned with the study results. When asked what would be most helpful in reducing or eliminating debt, “being able to suspend debt repayment if I’m having difficulty” was the first choice for adults in the United States and the second choice for adults. adults in the UK.
Encore’s US subsidiary, Midland Credit Management (MCM), owns the first and only Consumer Bill of Rights, which clearly sets out how MCM will suspend collection activities when a consumer demonstrates that they are experiencing significant financial hardship due to medical issues, natural disasters, job loss or other issues. Likewise, in the UK, Cabot Financial has a responsive support team, who are able to offer account locks for varying durations while consumers get the support they need to work on their health. financial, mental or physical.
“Our mission is to help create pathways to economic freedom for the consumers we work with, and these results show that our efforts are aligned with what people say they want and need to be successful,” said Masih. “I was inspired to see how people reacted when we asked what economic freedom means to them. Overall, people said that economic freedom means less worry and stress, more peace and joy. It is a laudable goal, and we are more determined than ever to help people achieve it.
The online survey was conducted by Morning Consult from August 26-29, 2021, among 1,000 US adults and 1,000 UK adults, with an oversample of 300 low-income respondents in each location. Low-income people were defined as those whose household income was less than $ 50,000 in the United States and less than £ 20,000 in the United Kingdom. The sample was weighted based on the demographics of the general population and low-income respondents in each location. The margin of error for this study is approximately 3%.
About Encore Capital Group, Inc.
Encore Capital Group is a specialized international finance company providing debt collection solutions and other related services on a wide range of financial assets. Through its subsidiaries around the world, Encore purchases or manages debt portfolios from major banks, credit unions and utility providers.
Based in San Diego, Encore is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ Global Select (ticker symbol: ECPG) and a constituent stock of the Russell 2000, S&P Small Cap 600 and Wilshire 4500. More information on the company can be found on http://www.encorecapital.com. For more information on the company’s Midland Credit Management subsidiary, visit http://www.midlandcreditonline.com. More information about the company’s Cabot Credit Management subsidiary can be found at http://www.cabotcm.com. Information found on the Company, MCM or Cabot website is not incorporated by reference.
Download the study on economic freedom here: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/d1f3cc42-60f5-483f-a1ec-22d60b2514be