Many Americans are optimistic that their personal finances will improve, but some still will make drastic changes to better their situation, according to an Experian survey

Costa Mesa, Calif., Jan. 19, 2017 — While there is much discussion about how Americans’ lives will be affected by national changes ahead, a survey by Experian found that when it comes to finances, 51 percent of respondents believe their own personal finances will improve and 37 percent feel everyone’s general financial status will get better over the next four years.

The sentiment differed by political party with Republican respondents having higher rates of optimism — 70 percent believe their personal situation will improve and 77 percent feel all Americans’ financial status will improve, while only 36 percent (personal finances) and 19 percent (all Americans) of Democrats agree. Fifty-one percent of Independents believe their personal finances will improve and 44 percent believe improvement is coming for everyone.

“While it is good to be optimistic about the economy and your personal financial situation, you should always be prepared for changes,” said Rod Griffin, director of Public Education at Experian. “The beginning of the year is a great time to review your finances and budget, check your credit score and credit report, and create a plan to reach your financial goals.” 

Financial changes Americans will make

Despite general optimism, many Americans plan to make changes to improve their finances. In fact, 35 percent of survey respondents said they will make a “drastic” change. The top changes cited, tied at 43 percent, include looking for a better-paying job and increasing overall savings. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said they will decrease their spending.

Among those survey respondents who think their personal finances will get worse over the next four years (21 percent), the steps they plan to take to address this include cutting back on expenses (66 percent) and getting an additional job (34 percent). The top financial goal for the next four years for all respondents is to save more (41 percent), followed by being a smarter shopper (12 percent) and paying off credit card debt (10 percent).

For more information on how to manage your finances and to learn about credit scores and credit reports, visit the Experian Credit Education blog. Consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service such as Experian CreditWorksSM, which can help you better track and manage your credit.


About the survey

The online survey was conducted by Edelman Berland on Experian’s behalf from Nov. 10–21, 2016, among 1,000 adults 18 years of age or older who reside in the United States. This online survey is not based on a probability sample; therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Experian

Experian® is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments — from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college to growing a business by connecting with new customers — we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 17,000 people operating across 37 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Learn more at http://www.experianplc.comor visit our global content hub at for the latest news and insights from the company.

Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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