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Drowning in Debt

Posted on July 27, 2017

Nearly three quarters of Americans are struggling with debt and the burden is significant in terms of both size and duration, according to a new study from insurer Northwestern Mutual.

The company found that, among Americans with debt, 4 in 10 (45%) spend up to half of their monthly income on debt repayment.

Nearly half of Americans (47%) are carrying at least $25,000 in debt, with average debt of $37,000 excluding mortgage payments. Notably, more than 1 in 10 say their debt exceeds a staggering $100,000

More than one third (36%) said they will be in debt between 6 and 20 years while 14% expect to be in debt for the rest of their lives

When looking at the sources of debt, similar to 2016, mortgages (29%), credit card bills (19%), and personal educational loans (7% gen pop and 23% for Millennials) topped the list. 

See Your Credit Union Today

There’s no magic bullet for getting rid of debt. Sure, we’d all like to win the lottery, but the odds are stacked against that happening. What we can do is manage our debt load better – and this is where your credit union can be a real help.

For starters, it’s helpful to lay things out on the table. Consumer debt creeps up on us, with so much revolving and installment credit available to most of us. We open so many accounts, with so many different terms, that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

Sometimes, it’s easier psychologically to not keep track of it all. This is a game we play with ourselves.

Putting it on the table, and sharing that knowledge with an experienced professional, can really help us to face the reality of our debt load, and to find better ways to manage things.

Your credit union has options for doing this. Not-for-profit options that put your interests first.

Work with your credit union to determine a budget, and to find ways of accelerating the repayment of your debt. One way to do this is to consolidate high-interest credit card debt into one lower-interest loan. Your CU has options for this.

It all starts with a visit to your credit union.