SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey(1) examined American's bill payment behavior and found that more than one-third (35 percent) of consumers are struggling to pay their monthly bills either sometimes, often or always. The consumer survey was conducted by Independent market research firm Toluna, on behalf of BillFloat, Inc., the nation's only bill payment provider to give consumers more time to pay when they need it. The survey also found that one quarter (25 percent) of respondents would turn off their TV for an entire month to have someone else pay their bills, while one in five women would abstain from sex for six months.
To help kick-start 2012, BillFloat has launched a sweepstakes(2) to help pay for a year's worth of bills up to $25,000 for one person. There is no purchase necessary and it is free to enter. U.S. residents 18 years or older need to simply visit www.billfloat.com/sweepstakes and fill out the entry form to be automatically entered to win. The sweepstakes will run until March 31, 2012. The official rules can be found here.
Fun Facts: What Else Do Consumers Say About Their Bill Paying Habits?
The BillFloat/Toluna survey results show that:
- When the going gets tough, where do the tough go for help? – More than a third (35 percent) of survey respondents claimed that they got creative when then needed money to pay bills, generating money through yard sales, pawn shops and taking on extra work. If that didn't work, 22 percent of consumers turn to friends and family to loan them money.
- Watch out for the dreaded late fees! – The majority (86 percent) of consumers would go to great lengths to avoid missing a payment and incurring a late fee.
- Most pay on time, but not necessarily saving for a rainy day. – Half (51 percent) of survey respondents claimed that they are "smart" with their finances by paying bills on time and putting money away in savings; a third (35 percent) pay their bills but do not put money aside; and 14 percent of consumers have trouble paying their bills on a monthly basis and do not save.
- Sorry cable company, but consumers want their insurance more than entertainment. – After taking into account the vital monthly bills of housing, food and utilities, consumers ranked their insurance bills as the most important bill to pay first, followed by credit card, loans, cell phone and lastly cable/satellite.
Despite having a generally optimistic outlook on the U.S. economy – 25 percent of survey respondents are very optimistic and 41 percent are slightly optimistic – Americans are still working to recover from the recent recession. In fact, many survey respondents would go to drastic measures to avoid paying their monthly bills:
- Here comes the six-month "headache." – One in five (21 percent) women would abstain from sex for six months (as compared to only 16 percent of men willing to give up sex).
- We'll be right back to our show, after we pay our bills. – A quarter of consumers would turn off the TV for a month.
- No, the gadget is not attached to your hand. – Twenty-one percent would be willing to give up digital devices and cell phones for a month.
- No surfing, socializing, downloads or streaming!?!? – Only 14 percent would go without the Internet for a month.
- Those bills go straight to your hips! – Nine percent of respondents would gain 15 lbs. of weight, although only 5 percent of women would be willing to gain weight.
"We understand that sometimes people have a hard time paying a bill from time to time, which is why we have developed a competitively priced service that helps consumers make payments with a purpose directly to the billers," said Ryan Gilbert, CEO of BillFloat. "As consumers are coming out of the holidays and dealing with increased credit card debt, they will appreciate our exciting new sweepstakes to help pay their bills for the year."
BillFloat offers consumers more time to pay bills with more than 2,500 billers nationwide, including leading phone, cable, utility and insurance providers. BillFloat loan proceeds are applied directly to the consumer's biller account and repayable up to 30 days later, helping avoid late fees, service interruptions, overdraft fees and high-cost loans. Online enrollment is open to all consumers with bank accounts and valid identification.
About BillFloat, Inc.
BillFloat offers consumers "more time to pay" their bills on time to help avoid late fees, overdraft charges, service termination and high cost loans. Billers including utility providers, cable companies, wireless carriers, insurers and leading e-tailers accelerate their cash flow through BillFloat's easy to implement and secure system. The service is available on billers' websites and through financial services partners, including prepaid and debit card issuers, payroll services, walk-in payment centers, and billfloat.com. BillFloat is based in San Francisco, California with investment and technology backing from First Round Capital, PayPal, Venrock and angel investors.
(1) Toluna, Inc. fielded the study on behalf of BillFloat from January 16-18, 2012 via its online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. Data for questions related to online use or behaviors were weighted specifically to the respective "online" populations. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
2) No purchase or payment necessary to enter or to win: Sweepstakes begins on 1/09/12 at 12:00:01 am PT and ends on 3/31/12 at 11:59:59 pm PT. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Click here for complete Official Rules. Sponsor: BillFloat, Inc., 433 California St. San Francisco, CA 94101. Prize is made payable in the form of a check for $25,000
SOURCE BillFloat, Inc.