Americans say they lack personal finance knowledge

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling recently released results from its fifth annual Financial Literacy Survey, which found many consumers do not feel confident about their knowledge of personal finance.

More than 40 percent of Americans say their understanding of personal finance is worthy of a C, D or F grade. This figure is coupled with findings that a number of U.S. consumers have cut ties with their recession-based conservative financial habits and are spending again.

"An admitted lack of personal finance skills coupled with increased spending is a recipe for financial disaster," said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. "The good news is that just over three in four, 76 percent, recognize that they could benefit from the advice of a financial professional."

One helpful financial tool that many consumers are unfamiliar with is credit repair. Studies have shown that a number of credit reports contain errors resulting from reporting mistakes on behalf of lenders and credit companies. These inaccurate marks can cause consumers to suffer bad credit.

An individual who uncovers any type of error or credit reporting mistake on his or her document may want to speak with a financial professional, such as a credit repair attorney to help investigate and dispute the mark. A credit lawyer may be able to work with the credit bureaus to have the item removed from a person's record.