Survey Finds the Biggest Money-Related Regret of 2016 Was Failing to Save Money

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The latest survey conducted by Student Loan Hero finds 34 percent of respondents regret not saving enough this year, while 30 percent resolve to pay off debt in 2017

New York, NY, December 13, 2016 — Leading financial education site Student Loan Hero recently released its second annual Financial Regrets and Resolutions Survey. This latest survey questioned respondents about their biggest money-related regrets of 2016 as well as their top financial New Year’s resolutions.


According to the survey, the most common financial regret of 2016 was “didn’t save or invest as much as I wanted,” at 34 percent of respondents. This was also the biggest regret of 2015 (35 percent). The second-biggest financial regret for this year was “didn’t pay off as much debt as I wanted” (25 percent).

When it comes to goal-setting for 2017, respondents chose “pay off debt” more than any other financial resolution (30 percent). This was the most popular financial resolution in 2015 as well (35 percent). ”Build an emergency fund” was the second-most popular financial resolution for this year (18 percent).

Interestingly, the number of respondents who do not have a financial resolution has increased over last year, with more than one-third stating they will not set a money-related resolution for 2017.

“With another increase in average student loan debt for college graduates in 2016, it’s no surprise many Americans are still struggling to save money and pay off debt,” stated Andrew Josuweit, CEO of Student Loan Hero. “I’m alarmed that fewer Americans plan to make a financial resolution for 2017 but encouraged by the 30 percent of Americans pledging to pay off more debt next year.”

Key Findings

–The biggest financial regret in both 2015 and 2016 was not saving/investing as much as desired (35 percent and 34 percent, respectively).

–The second-biggest financial regret both years was “didn’t pay off as much debt as I wanted” at 22 percent of respondents in 2015 and 25 percent in 2016.

–For 2016, those aged 18-24 were more likely to regret frivolous spending (23 percent) than those in other age groups.

–Eighteen to 24-year-olds were also most likely to regret not saving or investing as much as they wanted (32 percent).

Over one third (36 percent) of respondents don’t have a financial resolution for 2017. This is up from 23 percent last year.

More than half (55 percent) of respondents who said they don’t have a financial resolution are aged 65 or older.

–The most popular financial resolution in both 2015 and 2016 was “pay off debt” (35 percent and 30 percent, respectively).

”Build an emergency fund” was the second-most popular financial resolution for this year. In 2015, it was “save for retirement.”

–12 percent of this year’s respondents stated their financial resolution falls into the “other” category, which was not an answer option in 2015.


Survey was conducted via Google Consumer Surveys on behalf of Student Loan Hero on November 4, 2016, with a nationally representative sample of 1,013 adults living in the United States and a margin of error of 1.6 percent or lower.

About Student Loan Hero

Student Loan Hero combines easy-to-use tools with financial education to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt manage and pay off their loans. Student Loan Hero has helped more than 100,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $2 billion in student loan debt since 2012 and assists over 3.5 million people in becoming more financially healthy every year.

Student Loan Hero offers both current and former students free loan calculators, as well as unbiased, personalized advice and repayment plans through an easy-to-use online dashboard.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Andrew Josuweit, who himself had over $100,000 in student loans, Student Loan Hero operates on the belief that all loan help and recommendations should come with honesty and no hidden agenda.

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