A considerable proportion of American consumers do not understand the factors that contribute to their respective credit scores. According to recent survey by FreeScore.com, a mere 21 percent of Americans are familiar with such information. The study also assessed consumers' attitudes toward debt, with 11 percent of respondents claiming they spend more than 10 hours per day worrying about their debt. On average, consumers spend four hours per day fretting over money they owe. "To build an excellent financial history, one must first manage a budget and manage debt," said Carrie Coghill, director of consumer education for FreeScore.com. "And payment history is very important in this day and age. So, while many people might be frozen in regards to managing debt, a great starting point is consistent credit card payments and paying off credit cards." For Americans with excessive amounts of debt, Cogill recommends paying off credit cards with the lowest balances first while maintaining minimum payments on the others. once a card is paid off debtors can begin to chip away at the larger balances.