Why Do Americans Hate Debt?

It’s pretty safe to say most Americans think that debt is bad, but so many Americans have thousands in credit card debt. So, why do most of us think that debt is bad when so many of us have it? You might be surprised to learn that it might be because of our emotions.

Americans Hate Debt, But Why?

There is good debt and then there is bad debt. Good debt is usually accumulated on something that will add value to your life in the future. Mortgages and school loans are most often considered good debt because most houses gain value, and a college degree can improve your earning potential. Bad debt is generally hard to deal with, and doesn’t particularly add to your finances down the line. It’s this kind of debt that bothers people the most.

Credit card debt is one of the major causes of bad debt, and in a study published by NerdWallet, over 87 percent of people said they would be embarrassed if they went into credit card debt. That might have something to do with the fact that almost half of the people who took this survey said they thought they overspent on things they couldn’t afford due to emotions.

Debt accumulated by spending money on things you don’t need is considered one of the least acceptable ways to fall into debt. The study said that only 6 percent of respondents thought emotional overspending was okay. Around 60 percent of those surveyed also thought that most credit card debt is due to making unnecessary purchases. No wonder there’s such a large stigma on credit card debt, but there are acceptable ways to fall into debt too.

The survey also revealed that emergency purchases, medical expenses, and necessities purchased while unemployed were acceptable reasons for going into credit card debt. This means that many people think the amount of embarrassment you feel over your debt should depend on your circumstances. However, how you feel about your debt problems won’t solve them.

Keep following our New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys to find out how you can solve your debt problems. Handling your debt is far more important than feeling shamed by it, so share your stories on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Garland & Mason, LLC—A New Jersey law firm helping people beat debt and achieve their financial dreams.


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