15% of Americans Think They Will Never Get out of Debt

15% of Americans Think They Will Never Get out of Debt

September 18, 2019         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Americans carry an average of $29,800 in personal debt, excluding mortgage loans. The 2019 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study reveals that most consumers dedicate one-third (34%) of their monthly income to debt repayment, and 15% believe they will never be out of debt.

In addition, 22% of the respondents said their mortgage was their biggest source of debt. An identical percentage said credit cards were their primary source of debt. These figures vary slightly by generation. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were more likely to cite mortgages as a top concern, while Millennials were more likely to cite credit cards. The youngest generation, Gen Z, said personal education loans were their biggest debt burdens.

Featured Prepaid Card

Top Features:

No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

Poor payment practices may be contributing to the impact of credit card debt: 12% of respondents said they only make their minimum card payments each month, which mostly covers the interest on the debt, not the principal. Surprisingly, 31% of Americans say their interest rates are over 15%, and 19% don’t even know their interest rate.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Planning & Progress Study. Comparing the results from 2009 and 2019, 74% of Americans say they carry less debt today than they did in 2009. Also, 71% say they feel financially secure now, compared to 47% then.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 18, 2019. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Prepaid Card
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Prepaid Card
NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card. 

Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Intro APR Offer on Purchases

Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval


lynn-oldshue

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.