March 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?

  • The percentage of people more comfortable with their debt fell 2 percentage points from February.
  • More people were less comfortable with their debt than in February -- 24 percent versus 21 percent.
  • Hispanics (33 percent), people aged 50-64 (28 percent) and those earning $30,000 to $49,999 (31 percent) were most likely to feel less comfortable with their debt levels.

Some demographics are decidedly impacted more.

Gail Cunningham

Vice president of public relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling

At first glance, the results appear evenly split between those who feel more comfortable and those who feel less comfortable. However, digging deeper we see that some demographics are decidedly impacted more than others by the burden of debt. Hispanics, adults between the ages of 50 and 64, those with lower levels of education, and those with an income of $30,000 or less each strongly indicated that they were less comfortable with their level of debt today versus a year ago. The data suggest that these subsets may have less opportunity to pull out of their financial distress, thus have a lower comfort level.

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