Americans Talk about Salary before Credit Card Debt

Americans Talk about Salary before Credit Card Debt

July 15, 2013         Written By Natalie Rutledge

If someone on the street asked you about your credit card debt, you’d probably say it was none of his business. If the same person asked about your salary, you may respond in the same way. But if you had to talk about one of those topics, which one would you discuss? Credit card debt or income?

According to a recent survey, chances are you’d talk about your salary.

85% of the people surveyed said they would be very hesitant or highly unlikely to talk about credit card debt to someone they just met. Only 80% showed reservation about discussing salary, and even fewer had issues talking about health (71%), weight (50%) or politics (49%). People were most willing to discuss their religious views, with only 41% of those surveyed having issues talking about that with a stranger.

This begs the question: why are people so insecure about their credit card debt? After all, the average American household carries over $15,000 in unpaid debts. If it’s so common, why do we care?

It could be that people associate debt with irresponsibility and personal failure.

Lucia Dunn, an economics professor from Ohio State University, says, “Credit card debt does have a stigma. It implies a lack of self-control.”

People don’t want to talk about how much money they owe because that shows how poorly they have managed their finances. In reality, this may not be the case, especially when it comes to medical-related expenses.

Quite frankly, no one should need to know about your credit card debt. There is no reason for you to discuss it. However, if the topic ever does come up, note that the person asking probably has a lot of it, too.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 15, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at
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