U.S. consumers appear more determined to pay off debts and save money in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services. The survey found 70 percent of consumers nationwide plan to make some sort of financial change this year. More than two thirds of respondents - 67 percent - intend to reduce their debt levels, which bodes well for collection agencies in finding debtors
. Another 21 percent plan to increase savings. However, only 2 percent of respondents said they want to pay of their student loan debts, which are rapidly emerging as a nationwide fiscal crisis on par with the recent mortgage crisis. "It seems reasonable that consumers are planning to be more financially conservative this year in light of the economy and unemployment rates, but we want to reinforce that financial changes need to be carried throughout the year and just not end in February or March," said Howard Dvorkin, CPA and founder of ConsolidatedCredit.org. The study also assessed consumers current debt situations. Eighty percent of respondents claimed they owe more than $2,000 on credit cards. More than half said they plan cut back on unnecessary shopping to meet their financial goals.