As 2015 draws to a close, the new year symbolically ushers in a clean slate and the opportunity for a fresh start. Unfortunately, while the economy appears to be on its strongest footing in years, many Americans will not be getting a fresh financial start on January 1.
In fact, a new poll conducted by CreditCards.com shows more than one out of five Americans with debt are now resigned to the belief they will never be able to pay off that debt. The 21% of those surveyed that indicated that their debt seemed insurmountable is more than double the 9% that felt that way when the same survey was conducted in 2013.
The American Debt Dichotomy
The number of CreditCards.com respondents who seem to have given up hope on repaying their debts is certainly troubling, but the same survey indicated another faction of the U.S. population is headed in a more positive direction.
As the economy has strengthened, a growing number of Americans have been able to completely eliminate their debt. This year, 22% of those surveyed reported they are now living completely debt-free, up from only 14% just one year ago.
The financial hardships that followed the housing crisis seems to have taught some Americans the importance of financial responsibility. The American Bankers Association reports nearly 30% of American credit card users now pay off their full card balances at the end of every month, a post-recession high. In addition, the Federal Reserve says overall household debt remains 5% below its 2008 peak.
The holiday period is…
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