Americans continue to struggle under debt

A new poll finds that of all the people in the U.S. with debt, 65 percent say they don’t know when they’ll be out from under the debt. In that group, 25 percent say they’ll still have debt when they die.

The survey, released in early 2019 by, saw numbers dip slightly from the year before when 68 percent said they didn’t know when they’d get out of debt.

Most common debts

The most common debts reported were:

  • Mortgage – 54 percent
  • Credit card – 53 percent
  • Auto loan – 47 percent
  • Student loans – 21 percent
  • Medical debt – 13 percent
  • Personal loan – 11 percent
  • Payday loan – less than 1 percent

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, conducted online in December 2018, also found that 35 percent thought they would be debt-free sometime in the future.

Millennials – 18 to 37 years old – predicted they will get out of debt by age 43. Gen Xers – 38 to 53 years old – said they would get out of debt by age 54. Baby Boomers – ages 54 to 72 – said they would get out of debt by age 66.

The survey found that while half of people in all income brackets had debt, 73 percent of people who make between $30,000 and $49,999 carry debt. Survey organizers hypothesize that people who make less money have to meet more stringent demands to get credit while those who make more can pay their bills more easily.


More than 70 percent said they have a plan to get out of debt. Some of the plans include paying more than the minimum amount on credit cards, transferring debt to a balance transfer card and paying it off in the low-interest introductory period, getting another job, and getting help from a credit counselor.

If all else fails, there is the option of bankruptcy. The laws are meant to get you back on your feet and give you a chance to get out from under your debt.

If you have tried all the ways you can think of to get out of debt, consider talking to an attorney about bankruptcy. It may provide the option you need.