- The Washington Times
Thursday, December 11, 2014

One in five U.S. adults are so depressed about debt — not to mention drowning in it — that they think they’re going to die still owing their creditors.

In a personal finance survey, 18 percent of respondents said they’ll probably be in debt for the rest of their lives — and that’s roughly double the percentage who believed that in May 2013, CNBC reported.

The survey findings come at a time when mortgage delinquencies have dropped to 3.36 percent and credit card delinquencies stood at 1.34 percent, TransUnion reported.

But student loan debt has risen substantially, from $390 billion in 2005 to $966 billion in 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported.

“We’ve all seen the student loan debt numbers and credit card debt is increasing, and even though the job market is improving, it’s certainly not humming along, and there is data about people’s salaries not growing quite as quickly as people had hoped,” said Matt Schulz, senior analyst at CreditCards.com, CNBC reported. “You just wonder if it has all come together to create this unease.”

Survey respondents who thought they’d pay off their debts said they’d probably do so by age 53. But 61 percent said they’d likely be in debt until age 61, and another 18 percent, figured they’d be in debt forever.

“The more years you have left, the more likely you are to have a chance to get rid of that debt,” Mr. Schulz said, CNBC reported. “I think some of that can just be chalked up to the optimism and positivity of youth.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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