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What’s your most embarrassing number?

By Allison Ross ·
Monday, April 21, 2014
Posted: 5 pm ET

Quick: What's the most embarrassing number in your life?

Is it your age? Your weight? The ridiculous number of chocolates you sneak every day out of your co-worker's candy bowl?

If you're the average American, turns out the most mortifying number to have to admit could be the amount of your credit card debt.

A recent online poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 37 percent of respondents say they're most embarrassed to admit their credit card debt to others. A close second on the shame-o-meter: a person's credit score.

"Since consumers revealed that the two facts they'd be most embarrassed to admit are related to credit, it is obvious that they are not comfortable with how they are currently managing their money," NFCC spokeswoman Gail Cunningham said in a statement.

The NFCC notes that "excessive credit card debt should be seen as a warning sign that a person is in the financial danger zone."

If you are one of those people who are more distressed about your credit than your waistline, then -- well, first, congratulations on having a great body image and/or svelte silhouette. But perhaps it's also time to consider taking steps to detoxify your finances. The NFCC has a three-step Sharpen Your Financial Focus program that could help.

Bankrate's credit card debt calculator can show you what your debt might add up to in the long run. You can also seek out a certified, nonprofit credit counselor for help. A counselor will go through your budget, help you find ways to cut expenses and even put you into a debt-management plan, if warranted.

Interested in detoxifying your finances? Here's how to create a budget that works for you.

Follow me on Twitter, where I promise to never, ever share my weight: @allisonsross.

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Gorge Lopez
April 28, 2014 at 7:07 am

Do I have to pay anything to have card

April 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm

We retired, my bride 54, me 56, when we were ready after 32 years of following our hearts teaching and my wife teaching/coaching. Very pleased that we have been debt free since May of 1982. Relocated to be close to family, paid cash for our new condo, sold it, paid cash for a house overlooking a green of a golf course. Visited Europe 5 times, and travel the USA extensively in a Scamp 5th wheel travel trailer, leaving for Alaska in June for our 3-4 month visit for the third time in that state. We did two things when I finally finished my terminal degree: A) Paid ourselves first(meaning saved and invested), and B) ALWAYS paid all bills in full monthly, except the mortgage while we still had one. Our daughter and son are doing the same and will retire earlier because they completed their formal educations earlier agewise. What all of this means is that SELF DISIPLINE is required concomitant with a long range viable life's plan. The majority of people do not possess the necessary discipline and the percentage is rising in this country with few of the younger generations willing to do anything for others unless there is an obvious benefit to their pockets or stature as they view life.

April 23, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I was the quiet guy who didn't fit in. I just kept my mouth shut and worked hard. Now at 67 no debt, 3 million in financial instruments and enjoy excellent health. Too bad I have to still keep my yap shut in public. It's like doing well pisses every one else off. Oh yeah, only a high school ed...

Frank Grasha
April 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

Booger, You are part of the biggest problem in this country, Mabey there is a God , And it is accepted that there was a person named Jesus , But even if the whole story ia a myth, There way is the correct way to live wether you belive or not! Your way of I got mine shame on you is not ! The tax rates of the late 50,s are the correct rates ! And there will be enough for everyone not just those at the top ! Frank

April 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

Paul Keller,

Bless you and your wife and your wisdom. These days with a polio diagnosis most people would want to draw 'disability', but you wanted to contribute and work hard in life (and enjoy the satisfaction and pleasures that that brings!) Good for you and what an example to your children!

April 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

All that matters is an education on it. I'm 24 and I'm not good with money at all but I'm learning quickly now that I'm out of law school. Oh, and this guy on top of me is super angry for no reason.

April 23, 2014 at 9:23 am

I realize and agree that it is very tough out there but I also know that the majority of young people do not manage money well and sadly this included my own adult children. They all want a nice car, big house, expensive brand clothing entertainment, restaurant meals, convenience foods at the grocery and the latest electronic toys and services. Little effort is made to economize.My kids complain about money and make fun of me, but I own my home, a new car, am debt free because am frugal. I cook homestyle real foods, wear thrift shop (high quality) clothes,seldom eat out, and keep utility bills under control. Squeak when I walk maybe but no bill collectors are calling me day and night.

David Mettler
April 23, 2014 at 8:37 am

Just a few decades ago a man with a blue coller job. A job that provided the nessesities for life, the industries of food clothing or shelter, could provide for a family. Not any more. Evidently it's every thing else that is a nessesity. No one in the world can do without the big three. So why are we not being paid a decent wage for our work. Saving money is a exlent plan if there was money to save. All of you not in the most important of industry please enjoy your food, clothing, and shelter at our expence.

Paul Keller
April 23, 2014 at 1:23 am

My wife (Gladys) and I never had any debt that lasted very long for the 58 years we were married. We paid cash for most every thing. I am a partially disabled polio victim of over 60 years,having contracted that polio at the age of 24 in 1956. At the time I was married, with a baby daughter, a starter house making less than four dollars an hour. We were able to remodel the house, buy another larger home, have another child (a boy) then sell that one and get a larger home that we also sold. We moved to the country where I built most of a new home from the funds received from the sale of the last home. By this time my wages had risen to about 12 dollars per hour and we got our first credit card, that we paid off the balance in full each month.I had a high school education my wife an eighth grade one. What was wrong with those better off than us??? God blessed us with wisdom.

April 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

Remember, in high school, when you whined 'What good is economics gonna do me?'.... well, now you know.... Remember me? I was the nerd.. and you folk NEVER missed a shot at taking me down.... I'm DEBT FREE. Now, it's YOUR turn to 'eat it'. [Maybe there IS a God!]. I eat. You starve. Deal with it.