As you may know if you are a long term reader of my blog, you know I highly value being debt-free. I paid off my student loans and though I currently have a car loan, I’m looking forward to being debt free again. I also strongly believe I will one day own a home and be debt free as well. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who do not share my opinion.
Will Your Debt Last Forever?
According to the new CreditCards.com report conducted during the first week of December:
- In fact, 18 percent of those already in debt expect to take their loans to the grave. That’s double the 9 percent who expressed that pessimistic view the last time CreditCards.com asked the question in May 2013. This time around, another 11 percent don’t expect to get out of debt until they’re at least in their 70s.
- The average age people expect to achieve freedom from debt is 53, the same age as in 2013.
- Among all Americans — including both those who already owe money and those who currently are debt free — 13 percent say they will “never” pay off all their loans and get in the clear. Now add in another 8 percent who don’t see themselves paying off their loans until they are at least 71 years old, and you begin to sketch a future in which more than one of every five Americans expects to struggle throughout his or her adult life to dig out of debt.
Those numbers are crazy! 13 percent of people expect they will never pay off all their debt?
It seems that Americans think it is more difficult these days to get rid of debt. Even those who responded positively about getting out of debt thought it would take longer to do so, expecting to be debt free at 53 with 43 percent of people expecting to remain in debt until at 61 or longer.
The holiday season is a rough time to take this poll as many people are increasing their debt right now buying holiday presents and overspending.
Of course this is just a sample study and the majority of us believe we can and will be debt free at some point. That is encouraging. There are also signs in the economy that will lead to debt being paid down like lower gas prices and low interest rates for mortgages.
Tips For Paying Down Debt
If you are in debt, you can get out of it. It doesn’t have to last forever. Here are a few ways you can pay down and eventually eliminate your debt:
- Change your mindset and be more positive about debt repayment
- Track your spending so you know what you’re spending
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Stop using credit cards and increasing balances
- Negotiate lower interest rates on your debt
- Send larger payments each month to high interest debt
- Find ways to earn extra income to make extra debt payments
- Send savings from things like low gas prices as extra debt payments
- Invest in personal finance education and a debt payment plan
Following these tips and working hard to pay off your debt will yield a lot of positive results in your life. Don’t just accept the idea that you have to be in debt forever. Work to make yourself debt free!