February 7, 2007

What Americans Pay For - and How

IV. Debt Problems

FigureAbout one-in-seven Americans (14%) report that at some point in their lives they experienced debt problems serious enough to have caused them to file for bankruptcy or to use a credit consolidator.

Those with annual family incomes of $100,000 or more are less likely than other income groups to have experience with these kinds of debt problems.

People who make payments on their credit card bills are more likely to have had a problem with debt than are those who don’t use credits cards and those who pay their credit card bills in full each month.

Similarly, homeowners who have one or more loans (for example, car loans, mortgages and second mortgages) are more likely than homeowners with no loans to have had a problem with debt.

The age group most likely to report having had a problem with debt are those in a broad range of middle years – from ages 30 through 64. Adults both younger and older than that are less than half as likely to report having had a problem with debt.