Consumer Nation

More Americans Pledge to Pay Off Debt in 2012

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Americans have been working to get their financial houses in order for several years now, and it seems like paying off debt is becoming an even greater priority.

Fidelity Investments polls adults each year about their financial resolutions. Although saving more and spending less continue to be the top two goals, paying off debt has surged into the top three responses in the latest survey, which polled more than 1, 000 adults in mid-November.

Nearly half of those surveyed said saving was their top priority for the coming year. What’s more the median savings target doubled to $2,400 from $1,200 last year.

About 21 percent said they want to spend less, and 19 percent said they want to pay off debt. Those responses knocked the goal of “making a budget” out of the top three.

Last year, only 8 percent of those with financial resolutions were considering debt repayment as a priority.

On an encouraging note, Americans already seem to be on their way to achieving this goal. Nearly one-third told Fidelity they are in less debt today than they were at the same time last year.

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