Americans Reveal Tips & Tricks for Managing Mortgages

As the market heats up with spring approaching, Quicken has released a new survey revealing the best advice driving many Americans’ personal finance decisions.

According to the survey, a whopping 80% of Americans regret their financial decisions, particularly their failure to invest more aggressively and maintain a sizable emergency fund. When faced with uncertain finances—as many Americans affected by the recent wave of unemployment in industries like technology, media, finance, and logistics are—these regrets become much more severe.

Quicken research found that nearly half (48%) of Americans do not have enough money to last three months if they lose their job. It is more crucial than ever for Americans to prioritize their finances and make wise decisions since the threat of layoffs is looming.

While some financial advice does more harm than good, as almost one in five Americans (17%) report having received bad advice that negatively impacted their finances, more than half of Americans (54%) believe that receiving good financial advice has helped them manage their budgets in the past.

Quicken identified the best advice that has had the biggest influence on Americans’ lives:

Living Within Your Means

Living within your means and saving for retirement are the two most crucial financial decisions that every American—regardless of age—can make, according to a majority of respondents. Beyond these two guidelines, the following best financial advice varied according to an individual’s stage of life:

  • In your 20s and 30s, establish your credit.
  • Once you’re in your 40s or 50s, stay out of debt from purchases.
  • Those in your 60s and 70s: make sure you’ll have a source of income through retirement.

Establish Credit and Maintain High Credit Scores

Nearly all Americans (85%) believe that keeping a high credit score is essential to attaining and maintaining homeownership. Considering 70% of Americans believe it’s necessary to have credit cards early in life, it’s never too early to start building credit. Note that using credit cards to improve your finances requires careful management; the easy part is just getting started. For this reason, most Americans (81%) believe that paying off credit card debt is preferable to having a balance.

The fact that almost half (45%) of Americans say they usually carry a credit card balance shows how difficult it can be to heed this advice.

Purchase a Home When Possible

Three in four (75%) Americans believe that acquiring a home is an effective method to increase one’s net worth. However, the majority of Americans discover that there are numerous tips for properly managing your mortgage.

Among the advice that was most popular were:

  • Some 69% of Americans say buying a fixer-upper is a smart financial move if you’re handy.
  • Roughly 68% of Americans say putting down a large down payment on a home is better than taking out a large mortgage.
  • An estimated 64% of Americans say it’s best to pay off a home mortgage as quickly as possible to get out of debt.
  • Approximately 60% of Americans say refinancing your mortgage whenever rates decline is a good idea in order to save money.

“Financial decisions are inherently personal; it’s important to balance best practices with each life stage, current state of the economy, and your financial standing,” said Kristen Dillard, VP of Product and Head of Quicken Simplifi. “Historically we see an increased interest in personal financial management at the start of each year, with more people than ever turning to Quicken Simplifi for support this year. By understanding their entire financial picture, consumers can thoughtfully grow their money and ensure financial security.”

Economic reports indicate that job and salary growth are expected to be robust going forward. Plus, it is anticipated that a decline in inflation will pave the way for interest rate reductions later in the year.

Overall, current financial conditions may provide Americans with motivation to take actions that enhance their financial well-being.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and avid record collector. She can be reached at
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