Consumers with some college experience are inordinately more likely to seek credit counseling, according to a survey by the Institute for Financial Literacy, a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit financial-literacy organization. Approximately 30% of the nearly 37,000 respondents seeking credit counseling in 2007 stated they had "some college" experience, which is disproportionately higher than the U.S. Census Bureau's estimated national average of 19% of the population who have some college experience. In contrast, 18% of the population has a bachelor's degree, but only 11.3% of the respondents seeking credit-counseling services had the same level of education. The researchers speculate that the reason is students start college and begin to acquire student-loan debt, only to drop out. "Unfortunately, they then have to support the debt associated with schooling without the benefit of increased wages that advanced education brings," says Leslie E. Linfield, institute executive director. For the study "2007 Annual Demographics Report," the institute surveyed individuals who sought credit-counseling services but who did not file for bankruptcy, according to the organization. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires consumers to receive credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy protection from creditors.

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