Credit card debt becomes a major pre-recession regret

Following the recession, many Americans took steps to curb their bad financial habits, paying off past debt, using credit cards less and cutting their overall spending; however, many were left with regrets about how they handled their finances prior to the downturn.

In a recent poll, conducted by TD Ameritrade, 56 percent of survey respondents said that given the opportunity, they would have done things differently when it came to their finances.

“Americans seem to have been taken off-guard financially with the downturn of the economy,” said Stuart Rubinstein, managing director of client engagement at TD Ameritrade. “And while it has been a tough lesson to learn, it’s a promising sign that we’re acknowledging what went wrong, particularly as we approach a new year.”

Additionally, 60 percent admitted they let their credit card debt get out of control, the survey found. Nearly two-thirds of respondents also said they would have paid down more debt and 50 percent said they would have made more purchases with cash.

The highest number of those surveyed – 71 percent – said they would have spent less and saved more, a trend many economists expect to carry into the future.