Gas could hit $4 throughout the U.S.

As if high unemployment and foreclosure numbers didn't put enough stress on consumers' minds, now many will have to face the possibility of paying $4 per gallon of gas at the pump.

CNN Money reports that Illinois just joined the ranks of California, Alaska and Hawaii as the states that currently have an average gas price of more than $4.

The situation is expected to get worse, according to the Energy Information Administration, which predicts prices will linger around $3.86 during the summer, the news source reports. This value is 40 percent higher than the average recorded last summer.

Rising fuel costs puts a major strain on financially struggling consumers, who may already be dealing with high auto loan costs and insurance premiums. However, these individuals may be able to reduce their auto expenses by getting a quick credit fix:

Oftentimes, they may be able to improve their credit standing by reviewing their credit reports for any inaccuracies or other examples of unfair credit reporting. Consumers who spot any questionable items may want to contact a credit repair company to help them investigate and dispute these marks. Removing these blemishes may be the key to improving credit scores and qualifying for lower auto rates.