Americans add $74 billion in avoidable costs to regular bills, the bill-paying service Doxo concluded in a new study published on Tuesday (July 14).
Per household, the average total of what Doxo calls “hidden” costs comes to $557, the survey of 1,100 households found. The survey results were combined with other data to produce the report’s findings.
One of the biggest problems for households identified by Doxo was late fees. The report found that 54 percent of households pay at least one late fee per year, and 33 percent of households pay at least one bank overdraft fee per year.
Total late fees nationwide came to $17 billion and total overdraft fees came to $15 billion, the authors wrote.
“While only 6 percent of bill payers surveyed report an identity or payment fraud event, a far larger percentage of consumers are actually impacted by theft of personal data through business data losses each year,” the study’s authors wrote.
The survey also found that the average household could save $301 annually by increasing its credit score by 35 points. The analysis found that the average U.S. household has $72,000 in combined home mortgage, auto loan and credit card debt.
Doxo researchers arrived at the figure after concluding that a 35-point increase in credit score would propel many households from 660 – the top of sub-prime credit score range – to 695, which is the average U.S. credit score.
The Doxo report was first reported by CNBC, which said it was given early access to it.
Selected by Fintech Tube