June 2011: Debt

Financial Security Index survey chart

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How do you feel about the amount of debt you have compared to 12 months ago?

  • Feelings about debt levels improved, with 26 percent reporting being more comfortable versus just 22 percent in May.
  • The proportion of respondents less comfortable with their debt was down 3 percentage points since May.
  • The income group most likely to feel more comfortable with its debt load was those earning $50,000 to $74,999, at 38 percent.

The surprising thing, from my point of view, is that more people aren't uncomfortable.

Eddie Reece

Psychotherapist, expert on the psychology of money

The question is asking people to self-assess psychologically, and anytime you do that, they are more than likely wrong. People often lack self-awareness, especially regarding issues that are so fraught with shame, which debt is. The vast majority of Americans have way too much debt, but (many who are in that situation have) been able to rationalize it in some way.

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