Study: 61 percent struggle to cover their monthly expenses

Although the economy is starting to see positive signs of life, such as monthly drops in the unemployment rate, many consumers are still struggling to get a hold of their finances and overcome their bad credit.

In fact, a recent nationwide survey from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation found 16 percent of the more than 28,000 respondents felt good about their financial situations. The unimpressive number led the foundation to release a new report that shared tips to help individuals who are ready to get their credit in order.

FINRA says consumers may benefit greatly from creating a budget to help them follow their spending and saving strategies. Knowing how and where their money goes after each paycheck may help individuals find areas of their lives that are unnecessarily over-resourced. They can then reallocate these funds to outstanding debt, which may be exactly what the 61 percent who said they had trouble covering their monthly bills need.

Another way consumers may be able to improve their credit is to look for errors on their credit reports, which could be causing a poor score. Any questionable or inaccurate items that appear on a credit report can be investigated or disputed. To help in this process, a number of individuals will team with a credit repair attorney, who may be able to work with the credit bureaus to remove these blemishes.