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Debt Causes Worry for Americans

[Mar 1, 2008.]


A new survey shows that many Americans are worried about the amount of debt they hold.

The survey, commissioned by Bankrate, Inc., showed that 64% of the respondents who have debt concede that it is a reason for worry.

The poll also indicated that Americans have conflicting views on debt. A whopping 91% say debt can be controlled through disciplined saving and spending. However, a significant 72% say that debt is a part of modern life and is hard to avoid.

The vast majority of respondents - 66% - say debt frequently results from unfortunate circumstances which are beyond an individual's control. Still, 60% also say that debt often results from poor decisions.
Within the survey, credit cards were the most frequently cited form of debt, mentioned by 45% of respondents.

Those with higher incomes tend to have debt from month to month. For instance, 75% of those with incomes of at least $75,000 carry debt month-to-month as compared with only 36% of those with yearly incomes under $20,000. Interestingly enough, according to the survey, men tend to worry less about debt than women do.

Bankrate.com editor Julie Bandy stated, "Worrying about your debt can get overwhelming. Bankrate has the tools and information consumers need to set a plan for financial success."

Bankrate recommends a number of steps to eliminating debt from your life. To begin with, you should know exactly how much you owe. Next, you should develop a repayment plan. After that, you should be sure to sock money away into savings - ideally, three months' worth of living expenses. Be resolved to pay more than the minimum payment per month.

In addition, you should consider negotiating with credit card companies to see if you can secure lower interest rates on your credit accounts. While it may take a consumer a while to dig out from underneath a mountain of debt, experts say it's well worth the effort in the end.

Julie Ann Amos
March 1st 2008

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